Injuries have hit the Vikings defense harder than a freak October snow storm slamming South Dakota, and the team may be searching outside the organization for backup help. Per the hard-working Aaron Wilson, the Vikings have tried out safety Joe Lefeged, who played under Alan Williams for one year in Indianapolis.
Usually it’s not a big deal when a team holds such tryouts – they go on all the time and are normally a case of a coaching staff trying to “get a book” on a guy in case they need to sign someone in an emergency down the road – but this one is a little different.
Lefeged as I mentioned has a history with Alan Williams, having signed as a UFA with the Colts in 2011 when Williams was still there as defensive backs coach. Lefeged also has a certain amount of experience, having played in every game during his three-year tenure in Indy, starting four times in that span. He is a solid enough special teams player to have risen to the rank of special teams captain in Indy.
With Harrison Smith nursing turf toe, an unpredictable sort of condition that might put him on the shelf for awhile, the Vikes may want to seriously consider bringing in another safety with some actual game experience. Here’s the caveat on Lefeged: big time character questions. The former Rutgers player was arrested over the summer after fleeing Washington DC police during a traffic stop, and was ultimately charged with multiple counts including weapons possession, charges Lefeged insisted at the time were “drummed up.”
Lefeged was not immediately cut by the Colts, but actually hung on with the team for four games into the regular season, playing in all four games. Ultimately however the Colts decided to jettison Lefeged, making him a free agent. You have to wonder what else went on with Lefeged for the Colts to suddenly dump such a valuable backup player four games into the season. If there’s any kind of NFL discipline coming for the guy, obviously the Vikings would have no interest in signing him.
Like I said, it was only a tryout. But this is a guy Alan Williams is familiar with, and he obviously has some ability having become a valuable special teams player and backup for the Colts after going undrafted. We’ll see if this goes anywhere.