It’s beginning to look like Brad Childress and the Vikings got taken for a ride by Thomas Tapeh, the man they signed away from Philly in the off-season as a replacement for Tony Richardson. Tapeh, who’s supposedly a good blocking back and decent receiver, got a 5-year, $6 million contract from the Purple, including a $1 million signing bonus. Unfortunately, once the season began, Tapeh found himself on the outside looking in, as Naufahu Tahi became the #1 fullback. Tapeh has actually been inactive for all but one game this year. Chilly claimed initially that Tapeh was simply the victim of a numbers game – he liked other people for their special teams contributions – but now it’s come out that Tapeh failed to disclose a knee injury to the team before they signed him. “I think his knee bothered him a little bit when he came in here,” Childress droned. “He did have some — which I am just finding out about now — he did have an offseason cleanup in February, which I wish he would have shared with us. But I think he’s fully healthy right now.”
If it sounds exquisitely dumb-ass for a team not to find out the physical status of a player before signing him…well, it is. And league officials have begun criticizing the Vikings for their lack of diligence. “Didn’t they give the kid a physical?” a source said to PFT. “If they didn’t then they were stupid and if they did and they couldn’t figure out that he had recent knee surgery then something is definitely wrong. It’s pretty easy to figure out a guy had recent surgery.”
It’s easy if you’re the type of franchise that actually looks into things, but apparently the Vikings aren’t. They gave about as much thought to the Tapeh signing as Zygi Wilf gave to the Childress hiring – which is to say, almost none. And I thought that amateur-hour bullcrap was supposed to end when Red McCombs left town. Guess not.