Vikes Re-Sign Bennett

Darren Bennett

The cyclical life of a punter played itself out Tuesday as the Vikings re-signed punter Darren Bennett to replace the injured Chris Kluwe.

When the preseason began back in August, the Vikings planned to have 40-year old punter Darren Bennett return, despite having a gross average of 39.3 yards a punt in 2004 -- bad enough to rank him 30th among punters. But his preseason was so brutal that the Vikings signed Chris Kluwe, who they had seen in their final playoff game vs. Seattle.

With Kluwe spraining his right knee Sunday, the Vikings had a three-man punt-off Monday that included Bennett, Leo Araguz and Nick Murphy and, in the end, Bennett won out.

Despite being cut, Bennett had remained in the Twin Cities area -- living in Edina. When the phone rang, long distance charges didn't apply, but the Vikings are hopeful that long distance can be a part of Bennett's resume this time around.

The Vikings are hopeful that Kluwe can return quickly from his injuries -- one to his right knee that is deemed more serious than the sprained left ankle he sustained in a separate punting incident. He was not placed on injured reserve and, for the time being, will remain on the 53-man roster

WEDNESDAY NOTES
* To make room for Bennett on the roster, the Vikings released DE Eric Taylor and re-signed him to the practice squad.
* Vikings executive Paul Wiggin was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame Tuesday. Wiggin, who played for the Stanford Cardinal a half-century ago, was one of 10 inductees. In 2000, Stanford fans voted Wiggin the Defensive Player of the Century.
* Jermaine Wiggins leads all NFC tight ends with 54 receptions, but didn't have a catch Sunday and has yet to score a touchdown.
* A judge Tuesday ruled that a local entrepeneur's attempt to cash in on the Al and Alma's scandal by selling T-shirts that said "I got laid at Al and Alma's" was not protected by parody free speech. The shirt maker, who represented himself in court, has changed the design of the shirt to claim that shirt owners now simply got laid at Lake Minnetonka and has claimed for some reason that $5 of every shirt sale will go to a local humane society.

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