The NFL handed out several fines for incidents stemming from the Vikings-Bears game on Sunday night, but the league didn't fine Adewale Ogunleye for contact with Frerotte well after the ball was released. Was Frerotte acting? With no fine issued, that has to be the determination of the NFL.
While amusing, the $10,000 fine levied on Jared Allen
for using the football as a prop during a sack celebration in which he simulated giving the ball CPR proved that the NFL reviewed the game tape of the Vikings-Bears game Sunday night. It also likely proves that the league believes Gus Frerotte
was faking his injury against Chicago.
Frerotte, who mysteriously "passed out" from a forearm shot from Adewale Ogunleye
on what was clearly a late hit, may have put himself in line for a Best Actor award. The NFL, which hands out its fines of Fridays, has made a habit of reaching into Allen's wallet – Friday was the fourth time the league has taken money out of his pay envelope, bringing his 2008 total to $90,000. But Ogunleye's non-fine may be just as important.
The NFL is extremely protective of quarterbacks and it was clear that Ogunleye hit Frerotte three or four seconds after he released a pass. One would have to believe that if the hit was deemed legitimate, Ogunleye would have been fined. He wasn't. What implication can be drawn from that? The league believes Frerotte took a dive and did a crappie-flop on the turf in hopes of drawing a personal-foul penalty.
Brad Childress insisted following the game that when Vikings medical staff got to Frerotte after the play that he was unconscious. Thousands of non-doctors have tried to make the connection between being hit with a forearm in the middle of the back and losing consciousness. It's a hard one to make. But, at a time when movies will be up for Academy Awards, it would seem the NFL is of the impression that Frerotte was acting – and not very convincingly.
While Ogunleye wasn't hit with a fine, the Vikings-Bears game provided plenty of cash for the fine-police party fund. Aside from Allen, Chicago CB Charles Tillman and WR Brandon Lloyd were each fined $7,500 for horsecollar tackles – Tillman's being so egregious that commentator John Madden referred to it as a textbook version of a horsecollar tackle ("a horsecollar's horsecollar"). Benny Sapp was fined $5,000 for open-hand punching Bears' receiver Rashied Davis in the face.
The final injury reports were released Friday. The Vikings ruled out Brian Robison (knee surgery) for Sunday. Artis Hicks (elbow) and Garrett Mills (ankle) were both limited in practice all week and are listed as questionable. Allen (shoulder), Letroy Guion (ankle), Bryant McKinnie (ankle), Darren Sharper (ankle) and Madieu Williams (shoulder) are all listed as probable.
The Lions won't have QB Dan Orlovsky (hand), LB Alex Lewis (pectoral) or DE Dewayne White (calf) Sunday – all three are listed as out on the Lions injury report. WR Shaun McDonald and backup QB Drew Stanton are listed as questionable, and starters Cory Redding (knee) and Kevin Smith (shoulder) are listed as probable.
Anthony Herrera returned to Winter Park Friday after missing two days following the death of his brother early Tuesday morning.
To the dismay of many Vikings fans, Jacksonville wide receiver Matt Jones will play Sunday against the Bears – a day after having his appeal heard by the league stemming from an arrest in the offseason in which he was caught chopping cocaine in his car by a police officer. Jones was initially given a three-game suspension, which will likely be served over the final three weeks of the season.
Jimmy Kennedy may be inactive Sunday with the Williams Wall expected to suit up for Sunday's game.
Former Viking Adam Goldberg is going to start ahead of former first-round pick Alex Barron at right tackle for the Rams Sunday.