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Upset Vikings owner weighed firing coach

MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has spent time this week trying to gauge the temperature of his 2-5 team.

Coach Brad Childress put his job in jeopardy and upset Wilf by breaking franchise protocol and deciding to place Randy Moss on waivers Tuesday without consulting with the owner.

ESPN.com reported that Wilf considered firing Childress for making the move without consulting him, or anyone else in the organization.

Childress' deal runs for three more seasons. Friday the coach was asked if he still could count on Wilf's support.

"My sense doesn't make any difference," Childress said, ESPN reported. "You'd have to speak to him on that. We've always communicated very well, and I haven't seen any change on that."

Wilf might have been on board with Childress' decision to let Moss go after four games, had the coach gone through the proper channels.

Wilf is believed to have seen how volatile Moss can be. After catching one pass for 8 yards in the Vikings' 28-18 loss at New England on Sunday, Moss told the owner in no uncertain terms that Childress isn't a good coach and should be fired.

The Vikings require Childress to make it known when he plans to make a move as drastic as waiving Moss. This protocol was put in place to avoid an incident like the one on Christmas Eve 2006, when Childress decided to jettison wide receiver Marcus Robinson and angered players and fans.

Moss was placed on waivers Tuesday and claimed by Tennessee a day later.

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported that Childress got into a heated argument with receiver and former Florida star Percy Harvin on Friday at practice. Harvin returned to practice after missing two days with an injured left ankle. The two had a heated argument when Childress questioned Harvin's effort in practice, the newspaper reported. Harvin, who hurt his ankle at New England but was able to continue in the game, is listed as questionable for Sunday against Arizona.

BILLS: Despite difficulties getting Toronto sports fans to warm up to Buffalo's team, Rogers Communications is committed to extending the team's five-year series in the city beyond 2012. "We're there for the long haul in one way or another," Rogers vice chairman Phil Lind said. The Bills' home stadium, in Orchard Park, N.Y., is about 120 miles from Toronto. Sunday's game against the Bears marks the third year in a row the Bills have played a game in Canada's largest city and financial capital. The game has not sold out despite reduced prices from previous years. Lind said there have been no formal talks and he is awaiting for "the conditions to be right" to discuss extending the series. Rogers agreed to pay the Bills $78 million to play eight games, including five annual regular-season games, in Toronto.

CARDINALS: Running back Beanie Wells said he will play Sunday at Minnesota. Wells has been limited in practice all week after an allergic reaction to Orthovisc, which was injected as a lubricant intended to ease discomfort in his right knee.

EAGLES: Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson is expected to start and return punts Sunday against Indianapolis. Coach Andy Reid said Jackson had a great practice and is "ready to roll," barring setbacks.

PATRIOTS: ESPN reported that coach Bill Belichick is considering giving Logan Mankins playing time Sunday against the Bengals, days after the guard ended a holdout that dated to June.

RAIDERS: The team sold out Sunday's AFC West showdown against Kansas City to avoid a 12th straight local TV blackout. Games must be sold out 72 hours before kickoff to avoid a blackout in a 75-mile radius. Oakland was granted a ticket-selling extension.

SEAHAWKS: Coach Pete Carroll said rookie left tackle Russell Okung is "as doubtful as you can get" as he continues to recover from a high ankle sprain.

FINES: The league fined two Patriots for hits on Vikings quarterback Brett Favre on Sunday. Defensive tackle Myron Pryor was docked $7,500 for his hit that cut the Minnesota quarterback's chin and knocked him out of the game. Linebacker Gary Guyton was fined $7,500 for a roughing-the-passer penalty.

Others docked: Tennessee defensive end Jason Babin ($20,000 for hitting San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers in the knee); San Francisco linebackers Manny Lawson ($12,500, roughing the passer) and Ahmad Brooks ($10,000 for hitting Denver quarterback Kyle Orton in the head and neck area); Oakland guard Robert Gallery ($7,500, late hit) and linebacker Rolando McClain ($7,500 for grabbing Seattle running back Justin Forsett by the helmet), and Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons ($7,500, late hit).

AGENT COMPLAINT: The players association issued a complaint against agent Ian Greengross, the union's website said, for "violating numerous provisions of the (union's) agent regulations." Greengross and his recruiter, Kenny Rogers, have been under scrutiny this week over a NCAA investigation of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

OBITUARY: Former Lions receiver John Greene, 90, died Thursday in suburban Detroit after a brief illness, the team reported.

Upset Vikings owner weighed firing coach 11/05/10 [Last modified: Friday, November 5, 2010 11:14pm]
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