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Monday, November 25, 2013
Vikings cut A.J. Jefferson after arrest

By Ben Goessling
ESPN.com

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings released cornerback A.J. Jefferson on Monday, hours after he was arrested on a domestic assault charge.

Jefferson, in his fourth season, was arrested by the Eden Prairie police department on probable cause of domestic assault just before 7 a.m. CT.

A.J. Jefferson
Cornerback A.J. Jefferson was released by the Vikings on Monday, hours after he was arrested on a domestic assault charge.

The Eden Prairie Police Department said in a statement that a 23-year-old woman reported she was a victim of domestic assault at about 4:30 a.m. CT. Jefferson was arrested at his home and is now in Hennepin County Jail.

He left Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers with a neck injury after playing just one snap on defense and three on special teams. Jefferson began the season as the Vikings' fourth cornerback but struggled in pass coverage and missed time with an ankle injury this season, as well.

Jefferson, 25, has five tackles and an interception for Minnesota (2-8-1).

Jefferson's arrest is the second of a Vikings player this month. Receiver Jerome Simpson was arrested on a drunken-driving charge Nov. 9. The Vikings haven't released Simpson, and though they've pulled him out of the starting lineup for each of their last two games, he still played 47 snaps and caught two passes Sunday against the Packers.

Coach Leslie Frazier said he could not comment on the reasons the Vikings released Jefferson so quickly, other than to say the league rules on how teams can discipline a player for legal trouble are the same regardless of the type of offense.

Jefferson's departure comes at a time where the Vikings are already thin in the secondary because of injuries. Josh Robinson missed the Packers game because of a fractured sternum, and rookie Xavier Rhodes -- who might have had his best game of the season -- will have to pass the NFL's concussion protocol before he can return to the field.

Frazier said the Vikings might have to look at adding depth at cornerback this week, though he said safety Robert Blanton played well at the position Sunday.