Moss Charges Reduced, Fined, Doobie Found

For a day that was supposed to be centered on preparing for a win prior to a bye week, Randy Moss stole the headlines downtown.

There were many developments Wednesday in the ongoing saga of Randy Moss and his altercation with a traffic control officer in Minneapolis.

The good news for Moss and the Vikings was that the two felony charges against him for assault with a deadly weapon were reduced to misdemeanor charges of careless driving and failure to obey a traffic control officer. Had the police department opted to hold up the felony charges, VU has been told that the team was prepared to suspend Moss for one game. However, under NFL Players Association standards, misdemeanor crimes are not subject to suspension by a team.

That's the good news. The bad news came in waves. VU has been told Moss has been fined up to $50,000 by the team, but, after discussion with players, Moss will start Sunday -- thanks to an apology he made to teammates after his release from jail at 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. He missed the Wednesday practice but contends he will be ready Sunday.

The other major development was that a marijuana cigarette -- which police officials referred to as "a blunt" (marijuana disguised to look like a cigarette or a cigar) -- was found in Moss' vehicle. Moss' attorney said the marijuana was "definitely" not belonging to Moss. Police officials, however, said Moss refused to take a test that would determine whether alcohol or drugs were in his system. While VU has not officially confirmed that statement, if he did refuse to take a test, he will forfeit his driving privileges in Minnesota for one year. A spokesperson for Moss said that four other people have driven his Lexus in the last week and the assumption is one of them had the marijuana and not Moss.

Moss was released without having to post bail.

* Coach Mike Tice said he was "very disappointed" in the incident surrounding Moss and on Wednesday released the following statement:
"Randy Moss has apologized to the players and coaches for the distraction he has caused during the team's preparation for the game this Sunday with Seattle. After meeting with Randy, his agents and the team, the organization has decided to take disciplinary action for Randy's unexcused absence."
* Moss is scheduled to meet with the media at 11:45 a.m. today. Hopefully, it will go better than his impromptu press conference with news reporters outside the Hennepin County Jail Wednesday afternoon when he responded to a question from a female reporter by starting with, "What did I just tell you, woman?" The press conference is expected to be close to standing room only with both local and national media in attendance.
* In an ironic twist, ESPN's Sports Century will profile Moss tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central time. Likely an addendum will be put on the end of the show to include the latest chapter in the growing saga.
* Lost in the Moss hoopla was that the Vikings re-signed LB Antonio Wilson. To make room for him on the roster, the Vikings released WR Kelly Campbell. The team had held off the signing to get definitive word whether injured Talance Sawyer would be lost for the year, but, as the team still checks into the possibility of placing him on injured reserve, the roster move was made. Wilson had been cut last week when the Vikings needed to open a roster spot to sign kicker Gary Anderson.
* The Vikings submitted their injury report to the league. Three players were listed as out -- Jim Kleinsasser (knee), Sawyer (knee) and LB Henri Crockett (elbow). Three more -- Byron Chamberlain (knee), Patrick Chukwurah (chest) and Willie Offord (groin) -- were listed as questionable. Corbin Lacina (concussion) and Tyrone Carter (back) were listed as probable.
* Despite being listed as questionable, Chamberlain took part in most of Wednesday's practice and said he expects to play Sunday.
* Former Viking John Randle was listed as doubtful, but VU sources in Seattle say he is lobbying to play -- even if just part-time -- against his former teammates.

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