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with Sean Jensen and Don Seeholzer

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Evans signing, etc.

Coach Brad Childress said character still counts with the Vikings, but that didn't stop the team from taking a chance on a troubled-but-talented player.

Defensive tackle Fred Evans, who was released by the Miami Dolphins in June after being arrested twice during the offseason, will practice with the Vikings this afternoon after signing a free-agent contract.

Evans, the Dolphins' seventh-round draft choice last season, was released after being arrested by Miami police, who had to use a Taser to subdue him, and already was on probation for a marijuana possession charge in Texas.

He is still awaiting resolution of his legal situation on his pending charges in Florida and also faces a possible NFL suspension, but Childress said the Vikings checked Evans out thoroughly before signing him.

"He's a guy that made a mistake and is paying for it," Childress said. "But somewhere you make a decision based on what you see and what you know and people you talk to in this business. ... I think I've talked to as many people about this guy as anybody."

Childress said that the Vikings spent all day Thursday with Evans after bringing him in for a workout and will try him at the three-technique defensive tackle spot behind Kevin Williams.

"I think it's going to have a positive impact on our team," Childress said. "I and we thoroughly researched this kid. I look at each situation individually. It doesn't mean character's not important. It's very important to me and to this football team. I think we've got a good group in the locker room and I think he’ll benefit from being in this situation.”

In other news, Childress said the Vikings activated defensive end Erasmus James, who has spent training camp on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from two knee surgeries and will be brought along slowly.

As suspected, rookie linebacker Rufus Alexander suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Friday's exhibition opener against St. Louis and will undergo season-ending surgery after a rehabilitation period.

Childress will miss today's practice to attend a wake for security guard Frank Foster, who died Wednesday.


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