NFL Notes: Frazier says Freeman was right choice

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NFL Notes: Frazier says Freeman was right choice
October 22, 2013, 8:00 pm
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Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman completed just 20 of 53 pass attempts against the Giants on Monday. (USA Today Images)

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Josh Freeman's debut with the Minnesota Vikings was as ragged as could be, a 20-for-53 passing performance that produced no points on offense and raised further questions about how quickly he became the starting quarterback.

Coach Leslie Frazier expressed no day-after regret. Freeman was the right pick to play, Frazier said, and the job is still his this week.

"If I had to do it over again, I don't think I'd do it any differently under the circumstances. I knew exactly why we made the decision. I felt very confident going into the ballgame with the decision," Frazier said Tuesday. "It didn't work out for us this time."

The Vikings (1-5) signed Freeman less than two weeks prior to his not-ready-for-prime-time showing Monday against the New York Giants, a 23-7 defeat by a previously winless team in a nationally televised debacle that had analysts, fans and even ex-players mocking and criticizing the quality of play by both teams all night.

"This is the worst sporting event ever broadcasted," former Vikings left guard Steve Hutchinson said on Twitter during the game. The retired seven-time Pro Bowler was rarely that demonstrative during his career (see full story).

Browns: Jeff Garcia asked for tryout
CLEVELAND -- Here's a new wrinkle in the Browns' curious quarterback conundrum: Former NFL starter Jeff Garcia called and offered his services.

Garcia, who started 10 games for Cleveland in 2004, told 92.3 The Fan on Tuesday that he contacted the Browns and asked for a tryout. The 43-year-old Garcia hasn't started an NFL game in five years, but he informed the Browns he would love a chance to make their team.

"I actually reached out to the Browns and said, `Hey, if you need a guy to come in, work me out, take a look,'" Garcia told the station. "I don't know if people want me back in Cleveland, but I'm open to the opportunity."

Garcia, who went 3-7 in his stint as a starter in Cleveland, said the Browns declined his offer. Garcia is the only Browns starting QB to win a season opener in the team's expansion era since 1999 (see full story).

Colts: Replacing Reggie Wayne
INDIANAPOLIS -- Reggie Wayne was the Colts' ballast.

When he was suddenly surrounded by rookies and newcomers last season, Wayne took it upon himself to show the youngsters how things were done in the NFL. When Andrew Luck had a question about a defense or a coverage, Wayne could provide the answer. And when Luck needed someone to bail him out on the field, well, Wayne always seemed to get open.

Now the Colts need someone to fill in for Wayne.

"You can't replace Reggie," quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen said Tuesday. "I've been here 12 years and I've never seen him miss a game, and I've rarely seen him miss a practice. But you've got to take it and go and we've got some good young guys who are ready to do that."

Indy (5-2) made everything official Tuesday by putting Wayne on season-ending injured reserve for the first time in his 13-year career. The move ended his streak of consecutive games played at 189 (see full story).

Packers: Finley leaves ICU
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers tight end Jermichael Finley has tweeted that he left the intensive care unit and had full feeling in his arms and legs after injuring his neck in a game.

Finley posted Monday night on Twitter that he was able to walk to and from the shower. He thanked family, friends, teammates and fans for an outpouring of support.

Coach Mike McCarthy has said Finley's injury is significant, and that more tests are needed to determine the severity. Finley was hurt in the fourth quarter of a 31-13 win over the Browns on Sunday after getting hit by Cleveland safety Tashaun Gipson (see full story).

League receives 'A' grade for racial hiring
The NFL received its fourth consecutive A grade for its racial hiring practices amid concerns over a significant drop in minority head coaches this season.

The league also drew a C+ for gender hiring practices in the annual report by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport released Tuesday.

Overall, the total number of women and people of color at or above the vice president level in the NFL increased by 11 percent. The league received an overall grade of B.

The institute says it issues the grades in relation to the overall patterns in society (see full story).

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