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Bleacher Report – Vikings

“I’ve Got To Hit The Ground Running…” FB Jerome Felton Rejoins Vikings After Suspension

By: Aj Mansour |

Minneapolis, MN – It’s been a rough first three weeks of the 2013 season for most of the Minnesota Vikings players, but none took it as hard as fullback Jerome Felton.

Felton, who was forced to serve a suspension and sit out the first three games of the season to fulfill punishment for a DUI arrest stemming back to the summer of 2012, has not been allowed to take part in team practices or join his teammates at the stadium for gameday.

Monday morning, Felton’s suspension was lifted and he re-joined his teammates at Winter Park as they prepare to board a plane and head to London later Monday night.

“This has definitely been one of the more frustrating periods of my life watching these last three weeks,” Felton told me Monday morning. “It feels really good [to have this behind me]. It’s obviously been hanging over my head and I’ve worked hard outside of this situation and I’ll continue to do so. I’m just glad it’s over, I’m ready to get on with the rest of my career.”

Jerome was a big part of the Vikings success on the ground last year paving the way for Adrian Peterson to rush for 2,097 yards. His on the field performance was so impressive that the Vikings signed Felton to a 3-year $7.5 million contract during the offseason.

During his suspension, Felton spent game days alone watching his team play from the comfort of his home.

“It’s tough just watching,” Felton said of his emotions during the first three games. “I just wanted to be out there. Now I’m back and hopefully we can get this thing on a roll.”

Though Adrian Peterson still ranks fifth in the league for rushing yards through the first three weeks (281), the Vikings ground game has left much to be desired. It then becomes Felton’s hope that he can jump in for the Vikings’ week four match up against the Steelers and pick up right where he left at the end of last year’s record performance.

“We don’t have time for [the chemistry] to take a few weeks,” Felton said in reference to the Vikings 0-3 start. “‘I’ve got to hit the ground running and that’s on me, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll practice hard this week and try to pick up where I left off and I think once that happens, everything else will fall into place.”

Just prior to his suspension being announced during this year’s Training Camp in Mankato, MN, Felton was rushed to the hospital to undergo an emergency appendectomy that kept him sidelined throughout the entirety of the preseason as well. According to him, that injury is no longer a concern.

“I’m 100% physically,” Felton said. “Now it’s just about getting out there and playing a whole game and I should be able to do that.”

While he was unable to join his teammates on the field the first weeks of the season, Felton did say that he gained an interesting perspective watching his team from afar.

“[I realized] we can’t win them all this week,” Felton explained. “We’ve just got to win one this week…hopefully we can get this thing on a roll.”

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