The four game suspensions were handed down as the players tested positive for a banned diuretic known at bumetanide, found in the product, StarCaps. The players contend they took the pills for weight loss. The league bans bumetanide as it can be used as a masking agent for steroids.
Today, attorneys for the players will contend that NFL brass breached their duty in neglecting to inform players of their knowledge that the banned product contained bumetanide. The league will contend that, as part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the onus is on the players to know exactly what they put in their own bodies.
So that's the pen. But what about the damn sword! We've still got a game to play on Sunday, dudes, and if you're anything like me -- you're freaked out. Back in October, the Vikings slid by the Lions 12-10 on a Ryan Longwell field goal with 9 seconds left. Sick. Even sicker is Detroit's 0-12 record, low-lighted for the nation in Thanksgiving's 47-10 loss to Tennessee.
Sicker even still is the fact that this game has Screwball written all over it. The Purple are favored by 11, even though they're 2-4 on the road against the spread, while the Lions are actually 4-2 at home against the spread. The Lions sport the league's worst run defense while the Vikings bring the NFL's leading rusher to town. No team has ever gone 0-16 as Detroit is threatening to do, and let's just face it: teams here in the Bread Basket posses some strange and incalculable choke element toward which no stat can be dissected or attributed.
So let's just get past this baby, I say. Let's just forget this Sunday, and look forward, to the future. This game isn't going to be exciting or memorable or have all that many highlights, sans a few crazy Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor runs. Kids aren't going to save their programs or ticket-stubs. Nobody really cool is doing the National Anthem, and the Fantasy impact sports just two guys in A.P. and the Lions' Charles Johnson.
So let's just move on. Nothing to see here. Nothing to get all freaky about. No implosion. We won! It's over. It happened. On to Arizona! Here's how it played out:
Minnesota 34, Detroit 20
Minnesota 14 10 3 7 -- 34
Detroit 7 3 3 7 -- 20
Min -- A. Peterson 13 run (R. Longwell kick), 11:01.
Min -- A. Peterson 1 run (R. Longwell kick), 3:07.
Det -- C. Johnson 6 pass from D. Culpepper (J. Hanson kick), :13.
Det -- FG J. Hanson 47, 9:50.
Min -- FG R. Longwell 23, 3:11.
Min -- C. Greeway 27 interception return (R. longwel kick), 1:41.
Det -- FG J. Hanson 49, 8:50.
Min -- FG R. Longwell 33, 2:12.
Min -- B. Wade 18 pass from G. Frerotte (R. Longwell kick), 10:01.
Det -- D. Culpepper 33 run (J. Hanson kick), 3:39.
TEAM STATISTICS Min Det
First downs 19 13
Total net yards 405 345
Rushes-yards 27-188 21-115
Passing 217 230
Punt Returns 3-44 1-11
Kickoff Returns 5-99 6-122
Interception ret. 2-31 1-1
Comp-att-int 17-27-1 20-31-2
Sacked-yards lost 2-20 4-29
Punts 2- 39.2 5- 61.1
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 6-66 7-56
Time of possession 33:03 26:57
RUSHING: Min- Peterson 19-119, Taylor 7-68, Tahi 1-1. Det- K. Smith 16-71, Culpepper 3-35, A. Cason 2-9
PASSING: Min- Frerotte 17-26-1, 237, Taylor 0-1-0, 0. Det- Culpepper 20-31-2-259.
RECEIVING: Min- Wade 6-91, Berrian 3-86, Shiancoe 4-39, Taylor 2-19, Peterson 2-2. Det- C. Johnson 7-137, S. McDonald 4-51, M. Gaines 4-22, K. Smith 3-19, J. Owens 2-30
SACKS: Min - J. Allen 2, C. Greenway 1, A. Winfield 1. Det- White 2
INTERCEPTIONS: Min- A. Winfield 1-3, D. Sharper 1-28. Det- E. Sims 1-1.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: None