It was only a year after the fact that fans (and league officials) found out that Brett Favre had a biceps tendon issue and that he, then-head coach Eric Mangini and the Jets all knew about it and did nothing to report the injury. The same story has played itself out with every team, opening the door to conspiracy theories.
The Vikings find themselves being subject to the conspiracy theory as some are starting to openly question if some of the young Vikings offensive stars are looking for the "Favre treatment." While most conspiracy theories in the end don't hold water, there is always a kernel of truth that allows them to germinate and grow. When you look at the Vikings three-man bench team, it makes you wonder "what if?"
Adrian Peterson is said to be looking for a contract extension like the ones that have begun to be handed out to the draft class of 2007. While nobody has acknowledged that a contract had anything to do with it, A.D. missed significant portions of the offseason workout program, including the team's mandatory minicamp – making the term "mandatory" somewhat ironic. He has also sat out portions of training camp with a hamstring injury, which some also point at as a player other Favre looking for the "star treatment."
Sidney Rice hasn't taken a snap during training camp as he has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list since the start of camp with a hip injury that wasn't required to be reported by the Vikings, head coach Brad Childress or even Rice himself. But it was reported by Rice's agent, Drew Rosenhaus. As many players and coaches have given the "I'm not a doctor" answer to many injuries questions, Rosenhaus is many things, but a doctor he isn't. Some are claiming Rice is physically able to practice but hasn't because he wants his contract re-done. It's hard not to side with Rice, because the team's best receiver is the lowest paid among the veterans. Without the benefit of supporting evidence that Rice is actually too injured to play, the conspiracy types are able to run fast and loose with the facts and claim Rice's sidelining is contract related.
Third is Percy Harvin. He has been missing from training camp since the second day of practice. So covert is the Vikings attitude toward transparency with the media, that it took two days and multiple questions to even learn that the death in Harvin's family was his grandmother. Now Harvin has been subject to conspiracy theorists. He has a history of missing time in practice – from the rookie symposium to his rookie minicamp to days of practice during the week of the regular season with migraines. As of Monday, it was 10 days that Harvin has missed. While not contract-related (he's in just his second year), the conspiracy gang has been given more fodder that he is using his grief as an explanation to miss the grind of training camp.
Brad Childress put an end to that Tuesday when he admitted that Harvin is dealing with "some migraines.
Whether there may not be a grain of truth to any of the conspiracy theories, the subversive nature of the NFL giving out information has given rise to such conspiracy theories. The truth is out there. We just have to find it. What makes it difficult is that nobody is talking.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.