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Ray Edwards Suspended for 4 Games; Allison Wins Award

Let's do the bad news first:

Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress says defensive end Ray Edwards has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on steroid use.

Edwards has been a starter for most of the season, but was replaced by Erasmus James for last Sunday's game against Detroit.

Childress says that decision had nothing to do with Edwards' alleged violation.

Well, that pretty well sucks.  Edwards had been performing pretty well for the Vikes this season, being one of four different Vikings tied for second on the team in sacks (along with E.J. Henderson and Kenechi Udeze. . .rookie Brian Robison leads the team with 4.5) and getting pretty decent pressure on the quarterback.  The ruling means that if we see Ray Edwards again this season, it will be during the Vikings' wild-card playoff game.  If we don't see him again this year. . .well, then that means the Vikings didn't make the post-season, and we really don't want to think in those terms now, do we?

But enough gloom and doom.  Let's turn to something more positive, shall we?

You can read more about rookie receiver and kickoff return ace Aundrae Allison in Wednesday's Star Tribune but just wanted to note that he has been named NFC special teams player of the week. Allison had a franchise-record 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Vikings' victory over Detroit on Sunday and finished with three returns for an average of 47.7 yards.

Allison is the first Viking to earn this honor since kicker Ryan Longwell received it in Week 2 of the 2006 season. Allison is only the second Vikings player to win the award for his work on returns, joining Moe Williams (1999).

Allison, a fifth-round pick from East Carolina in the NFL draft last April, has averaged 37.1 yards on only 10 returns this season and has three run backs of 60 or more yards. The latter figure is a team record.

I think Allison simply solidifies the fact that the Vikings have by far the best rookie class in the National Football league for 2007. . .and honestly, I can't think of a team that's even close.  Between Purple Jesus, Sidney Rice, Marcus McCauley, Brian Robison, and Allison, our rookie class this season has been nothing short of outstanding.  After all the crap that I heard people say about Rick Spielman from his time in Miami. . .because, you know, they've been so outstanding since he left. . .he deserves a lot of credit for this year's class and for putting this team together in the wake of last year's Fran Foley debacle.

Oh, and be sure to check up the new, improved, and updated links section over there in the right-hand sidebar.  I've added a lot more sites, most of them in the "General Sports" category, but there are some good ones in the other spots, too.  I'm going to spend most of today seeing if I can track down which Viking players have their own personal websites.  I know of a few off the top of my head, but I'm going to try to find as many as I can.  If you know of any, feel free to drop them in the comments here.

Keep enjoying your Wednesday, folks!