Williamson Catches a Punch

The Vikings celebrated their win Sunday at a charity concert Sunday night, only to have it end with a security guard punching Troy Williamson in the face.

Troy Williamson has had more than his share of problems this year. He leads the NFL in dropped passes, has been demoted from a starter to the fourth or fifth wide receiver on the team and has felt the wrath of the boo-birds from home fans.

But early Monday morning, he felt the fist of an security guard in what is said to be an unprovoked incident.

The punch came at Myth nightclub in Maplewood -- the site of a charity concert called Sharperpalooza, an event organized by Vikings safety Darren Sharper. The concert starred hip-hop artist Ludacris and the proceeds are earmarked to benefit the United Way and the Minnesota AIDS Project. But, as the party was breaking up, security officials escalated an incident that got Williamson involved.

Although the incident allegedly was not picked up by security cameras, one of the bouncers (off-duty Ramsey County sheriff's department officers) was ushering a group of Vikings players out an alternate exit to the club. One unidentified player was quoted as saying, "I'm a pro athlethe. Nobody treats me like this." As the security officers got more aggressive about clearing out the club, Williamson was struck -- apparently without any provocation.

The incident came the same night as Williamson suffered his demotion to No. 5 receiver on the roster in Sunday's win over Arizona. He had just one pass thrown his way -- a bomb that he dropped.

Coach Brad Childress expressed his displeasure with Williamson at his press conference Monday, saying, "He's a first-round draft pick -- the seventh pick in the draft. You've got to be able to catch the football."

Williamson declined to press charges from the incident. The Vikings had Tuesday off and Williamson's agent deferred comment to the Vikings, who declined to make a statement.

* The nightclub incident comes on the heels of a police report claiming that the Vikings player assaulted a woman in the early morning hours of Nov. 21. The player was not named by police, who are still investigating the claim, but it was stated that the assault was not sexual in nature.
* The Redskins released Ryan Hoag from their practice squad Tuesday.
* Last week, there was speculation that former Vikings assistant and Rams head coach Scott Linehan was going to fire offensive coordinator Rich Olson. Linehan, who like Childress has called his own plays, instead turned the playcalling over to Olson. The Rams got a 20-17 win to snap a five-game losing streak. While Linehan's success came after giving up play-calling duties, another former Vikings offensive coordinator -- Brian Billick -- has seen his offense succeed after assuming the play-calling chores.

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