Mike Priefer, special teams coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, is back on the job today. The team announced late Sunday that Priefer's three-game suspension was reduced to two games.
"The decision by Vikings ownership follows extensive conversations with the independent professional consultants retained to conduct individualized anti-harassment, diversity and sexual orientation training with Coach Priefer," a statement from the team reads at Vikings.com. "Those consultants have conveyed to the team that Coach Priefer was fully and thoughtfully engaged throughout the process and successfully completed the program."
Priefer was suspended after an independent investigation conducted by the team concluded that Priefer made homophobic comments during the 2012 season, as made public by former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who revealed details in an article posted to Deadspin.
Priefer initially denied Kluwe's claims but later admitted guilt.
After learning of Priefer's reduced suspension, Kluwe told the Pioneer Press that he only has one regret.
"My only regret is that I didn't record everything that was said to me over that year," Kluwe said.
Kluwe added that the two-game suspension "is fine" if Priefer takes what he's learned to heart.
With Priefer suspended, the Vikings hired longtime NFL coach Joe Marciano to run the team's special teams units. Against New England, Minnesota's special teams were dominated.
The Boston Globe has the details:
"Stephen Gostkowski made all three of his field-goal tries and limited one of the NFL’s top kickoff returners to just a single attempt, sending four other kicks out of the end zone. Four of Ryan Allen’s five punts were downed inside Minnesota’s 20-yard line, Julian Edelman averaged 16.5 yards on four punt returns, andChandler Jones made the play of the game, blocking a field-goal attempt by Blair Walsh, scooping up the ball, and taking it 58 yards for a touchdown with 9 seconds left in the first half. It gave the Patriots a 24-7 lead."
No word from the Vikings on what they'll do with Marciano, but the expectation when he was hired was for him to go back into retirement once Priefer returned.