MANKATO, Minn. (Aug. 12, 2007) -- The Minnesota Vikings activated third-year defensive end Erasmus James from the physically unable to perform list, hoping he can regain the pass-rushing form he exhibited at Wisconsin before a serious knee injury last year.
James hasn't played since tearing a ligament in his left knee in the second game of last season. He did not play in the Vikings' preseason opener against St. Louis on Aug. 10, but returned to practice and worked with the third team at right end, behind Ray Edwards and Brian Robison.
"To have Erasmus back, we're excited and we are just going to watch his progress over the next few weeks and hopefully he'll get to the point where he can help us early in the season," defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said.
Frazier said if James proves he is healthy, he will be the starter at right end.
The Vikings also placed rookie linebacker Rufus Alexander on injured reserve after he tore a ligament in his left knee against the Rams and signed free-agent defensive tackle Fred Evans.
Evans was waived by the Dolphins after being arrested on June 23 for allegedly refusing to leave a taxi on South Beach and fighting with officers.
"I've been blessed with another opportunity, which I feel I should have, and I want to take advantage of that," Evans said.
Police said they twice used a stun gun on Evans in an attempt to subdue the 6-foot-4, 305-pound Evans. Officers said they asked Evans to leave the taxi and, after he refused, they attempted to put him in handcuffs. He allegedly resisted, leading to the scuffle.
Evans, who appeared in one game for the Dolphins as a rookie in 2006, was charged with multiple counts of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting with violence, along with single counts of disorderly intoxication and trespassing. He pleaded not guilty to the charges last month.
Evans was on probation for a marijuana possession arrest when he was arrested in June, meaning he could face discipline under the NFL's conduct policy.
Vikings coach Brad Childress said he researched Evans' case, talked to coaches that knew him, and thinks the veterans on the team will help Evans avoid further trouble.
"We've got some good things going in the locker room," Childress said. "I think that will be a benefit for this situation."
The Associated Press News Service
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