Orlando Thomas still fighting ALS

Despite confusion and erroneous reports of Orlando Thomas' death, the former Vikings safety is still fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease.

On Wednesday, reports surfaced that former Viking Orlando Thomas had died, losing his long battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease. As it turned out, the original report and subsequent follow-ups were wrong.

The Vikings posted news of his death on their website after officials from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Thomas' alma mater, contacted the team to let them know that Thomas has passed away. When Thomas' agent Mark Bartelstein was contacted for comment, he reported that the reports of Thomas' were incorrect.

Apparently the misinformation began when someone put an entry on their MySpace page claiming that Thomas had died. Former Viking Jake Reed, who has been a longtime friend of Thomas, was one of the first to refute the story, sending Twitter messages saying the Thomas was not dead.

While Lou Gehrig's Disease is incurable, Thomas continues his fight. The prayers of Vikings fans everywhere go out to Thomas and his family during his difficult struggle.


  • Four Vikings players did not practice Wednesday – E.J. Henderson (knee), Bernard Berrian (hamstring), Antoine Winfield (foot) and Jimmy Kennedy (non-injury related). Brett Favre was included on the injury report with a hip injury – the third time this year he has been included on the injury list. Also listed were Ben Leber (calf), Jasper Brinkley (hamstring), Karl Paymah (quad), Darius Reynaud (hamstring) and Naufahu Tahi (knee).

  • Six Packers didn't practice Wednesday – FB Korey Hall (calf), WR Jordy Nelson (knee), TE Jermichael Finley (knee), safety Derrick Martin (hamstring), OL Jason Spitz (back) and center Scott Wells (non-injury related).

  • Jim Schmitt, the mayor of Green Bay announced that, for this week anyway, Minnesota Avenue in the city would be renamed after Aaron Rodgers of the Packers – the latest in a series of good-natured shots at Favre making his return to Green Bay this weekend.

  • The schism between Jared Allen, the Star-Tribune and the local FOX affiliate raged on Wednesday. During the open locker room session, Allen said he would not conduct any interviews if Star-Tribune or FOX-9 employees were present. Allen refused to talk to both sources following the Pittsburgh game. The shut-out stemmed from an incident with newspaper gossip columnist C.J., who came slightly short of stalking Allen's girlfriend at a Mall of America event in which Allen was signing autographs. Armed with a small camera, the columnist followed Allen's girlfriend at the mall and posted it, including an attempt from Allen to politely get her to stop filming. C.J. later appeared on FOX-9 news with a weekly gossip segment and perpetuated the story with her assertion that football players all cheat on their wives and girlfriends. There's no telling when Allen's boycott will be lifted.

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