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Mike Zimmer defends keeping George Edwards on staff after DUI arrest

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Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer on Wednesday defended the decision to keep defensive coordinator George Edwards on his staff following a DUI arrest. He also contrasted that decision with how practice squad player Isame Faciane was cut following his DUI arrest during the team’s bye week.

“Every situation is different,” Zimmer said, via the Star Tribune. “And I really don’t care about being consistent. I care about being right. When this happened with George, George was given a lot of things to do, including a huge monetary commitment that he had to make. And he fulfilled all of his obligations.”

The news of Edwards’ DUI arrest last May just surfaced this week. The Vikings then issued a statement confirming Edwards’ legal entanglements  — which included three misdemeanor charges, including fourth-degree DUI — while adding he’d been “significantly disciplined”  by the team. The NFL declined to discipline Edwards any further in light of the team’s disclosures on the incident and how it was handled internally.

Edwards ultimately pleaded guilty in August to the lesser charge of misdemeanor careless driving. He was fined $1,000 and placed on a year of probation. Other conditions in lieu of Stewart’s plea agreement have also been satisfied.

While Edwards managed to keep his job, Zimmer made it clear another chance might be a one-time deal, saying, “if he messes up again, his future will be [in doubt].”

Zimmer went on to further differentiate Edwards’ situation with how things played out with Faciane.

“[With Faciane’s] situation, I told the players in the meeting the day they left to make sure they stay out of trouble and do the right things. I told them again on the field [as] they left. I had the coaches text them and remind them to stay out of trouble,” he said. “And then when this did happen, on the very same day he was told to call me twice and didn’t.”

The news of both arrests couldn’t have come at a worse time for the 5-0 Vikings. But it appears the Vikings have handled them as they see fit and will try to avoid any potential distractions.