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Minnesota Vikings’ Dalvin Cook says ‘truth will come out’ on lawsuit accusing RB of assault

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EAGAN, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook maintained his innocence during a five-minute news conference on Wednesday in which he addressed a lawsuit filed against him by an ex-girlfriend alleging that he abused her during an altercation at his home last year.

“I just want everybody to know I’m the victim in this situation and the truth and the details about the situation will come out at a further time,” Cook said.

The 26-year-old running back was accused by 29-year-old former girlfriend Gracelyn Trimble, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, of assault, battery and false imprisonment, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Cook’s attorney, David Valentini, said in a statement Tuesday that his client was assaulted by Trimble after she broke into his residence and then later tried to extort millions of dollars from him. Trimble’s lawsuit alleges that she traveled to Minnesota in November 2020 to end her relationship with Cook and take her belongings, having used a garage door opener in her possession to enter the running back’s Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, residence.

Trimble’s lawsuit accused Cook of giving her “a concussion, leaving a scar on my face and taking me through hell.” According to the suit, Trimble said she used Mace on Cook before going into his bedroom, grabbing his gun and calling a friend for help, leading the running back to attack her with a broomstick, she alleged.

No criminal charges were filed, and police were not contacted at the time of the altercation.

Cook deferred all questions about details in the lawsuit to his attorney and his agent, Zac Hiller. Cook said “no” when asked whether he planned to countersue Trimble.

“Like I said, I don’t want to go into further details about it,” Cook said. “I know that the facts of the situation will come out and clear everything up that y’all are trying to get answers to.”

The running back practiced during the team’s walk-through Wednesday and said he expects to play Sunday when the Vikings (3-5) travel to Los Angeles to face the Chargers. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he did not know much about the details surrounding Cook’s lawsuit and said he had not heard anything regarding the running back’s availability for Week 10.

“Honestly, I don’t know that much about the situation,” Zimmer said. “What I was told is the NFL said this is a civil matter and it is what is. So, I don’t know that much about it honestly.”

An NFL spokesperson told ESPN that the league will review Cook’s situation under the personal conduct policy. Because the lawsuit is a civil charge, Cook will not be subjected to being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list.

According to the NFL’s personal conduct policy, a player would go on the commissioner’s exempt list when he is “formally charged with: (1) a felony offense; or (2) a crime of violence, meaning that he is accused of having used physical force or a weapon to injure or threaten a person or animal, of having engaged in a sexual assault by force or against a person who was incapable of giving consent, or having engaged in other conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety or well-being of another person. The formal charges may be in the form of an indictment by a grand jury, the filing of charges by a prosecutor, or an arraignment in a criminal court.”

Trimble’s lawyer Daniel Cragg told ESPN that the complaint was filed Tuesday night, and was accepted for filing by the court administration and is of record.

Cook said Wednesday that he is no longer in contact with the accuser, whom he allegedly saw on and off from January to May 2021, months after the incident in question, according to the lawsuit.

“Just seeing my business out on the social web is not ideal for me,” Cook said. “I try to walk that straight line, but bumps and bruises come through life and it’s how you handle it. I’ve been through a lot of tough things in my life, and I’ve got my head up high knowing that the truth will come out. I hate being a distraction to the team, but I know those guys got my back 1,000%. Just going to take this thing day by day, and I know my team’s here for me and I’m there for them day by day.”

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Denver Broncos activate linebacker Bradley Chubb off injured reserve, expected to play vs. Los Angeles Chargers

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos activated outside linebacker Bradley Chubb from injured reserve Saturday and moved him to the team’s active roster. He is expected to play Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Chubb, who has not played since he was on the field for 19 snaps in the Broncos’ Week 2 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, had surgery on his left ankle in September to remove a bone spur. He returned to practice this past Monday for the first time since he left the Jaguars game.

After Friday’s practice Broncos coach Vic Fangio said he wanted to see how Chubb felt Saturday morning when the team came in for its walk-through and “we’ll see where he’s at … and go from there.”

Chubb’s return is timely in that the Broncos, at 5-5, are still on the fringe of the AFC’s playoff chase with five AFC West games over the final seven weeks of the season. Chubb had previously has surgery in his right ankle in May to also remove a bone spur and he missed all but four games in the 2019 season with a torn ACL.

It all means he’s missed 23 games over the last three seasons.

“He’s good in all areas,” said Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell on Thursday. “The first place we talk about in our run defense is setting edges. He’s a powerful person and player, and he brings strength to our front. Then there’s the pass rush as that goes.”

Donatell said given Chubb has played in one game since Week 15 of the 2020 season – he missed the final two games of last season with his right ankle issues – it’s likely Chubb would be on a snap count Sunday against the Chargers.

Chubb has 20.5 sacks in 35 career games since the Broncos selected him fifth overall in the 2018 draft.

The Broncos have had more than two sacks in just two games this season. The team also traded it’s franchise’s all-time sack leader, Von Miller, to the Los Angeles Rams last month and has since used rookie Jonathon Cooper as well as Malik Reed in the two outside linebacker spots in most pass rush situations since Miller was traded.

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Curley Culp, Hall of Fame nose tackle for Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Oilers, dies at 75

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hall of Fame defensive lineman Curley Culp, who helped the Kansas City Chiefs win their first Super Bowl during a 14-year NFL career, died Saturday of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 75.

Culp announced this month that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. His wife, Collette Bloom Culp, announced “on behalf of our family and with a broken heart” the five-time All-Pro’s death.

“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Curley Culp. He was a wonderful man of great integrity who respected the game of football and how it applied to everyday life,” Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said. “Curley’s humility and grace were always apparent.”

Culp was considered one of the strongest players in the NFL during his playing career, though his position on the interior of the defensive line meant his play often went unnoticed. He was chosen to participate in six Pro Bowls, and he was second to Steelers cornerback Mel Blount for AP Defensive Player of the Year after the 1975 season.

It wasn’t until long after his playing days — Culp retired in 1981 — that he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. But after his enshrinement in 2013, Culp proudly wore the golden jacket of a Hall of Famer seemingly everywhere he went.

“Our team certainly lost a great one today,” Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. “Curley was a game changer for our defense when he came to us in the trade with the Chiefs and was pivotal to our success during the Luv Ya Blue days. He rightfully earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and I was fortunate to spend some quality time with Curley and his wife Collette when we hosted the Oilers reunion this past September.

“They also brought two of their young grandchildren for that weekend and Curley’s love for those two was very obvious. He will forever be remembered as a ferocious nose tackle as a player and a Hall of Fame gentleman off the field.”

Culp learned to use his speed and leverage while at Arizona State. He was an All-American in football for the Sun Devils and, standing 6 feet and weighing about 265 pounds, won the heavyweight national championship in wrestling.

The Denver Broncos selected Culp in the second round of the 1968 draft with the idea of turning him into an offensive guard. But when it became clear that wasn’t going to work, they traded him to the Chiefs, where Hank Stram plugged him into the middle of a defensive line that ultimately would take Kansas City all the way to the Super Bowl.

“I guess I proved them wrong,” Culp told The Associated Press in a 2013 phone interview. “A little fireplug, that’s me.”

Culp was part of a defense that included fellow Hall of Famers Emmitt Thomas, Willie Lanier, Bobby Bell and Buck Buchanan. And in the fourth Super Bowl, that group shut down the Vikings’ vaunted run game in a 23-7 victory. Primarily a defensive tackle, Culp made the move to nose tackle during that Super Bowl win as the team successfully experimented with the 3-4 defense, which was relatively new to the NFL at the time.

“Curley represented the franchise with honor and respect both on and off the field,” Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt, whose father Lamar Hunt founded the team, said in a statement Saturday. “He was known as a fierce competitor and a difference maker who commanded a great deal of respect. His legacy will forever be remembered by Chiefs Kingdom. Our prayers are with his family at this time.”

Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson recalled Culp as “a tremendous athlete,” while Thomas called him “ornery as hell.”

Culp was traded to the Oilers in 1974, and he had arguably his best season the next year, thriving in Bum Phillips’ 3-4 scheme. Culp was released by the Oilers during the 1980 season and was picked up by the Detroit Lions. He finished out the 1980 season with the Lions before retiring after the 1981 season.

He would often show up for Chiefs games in later years, and he stayed in touch with many of his old teammates. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2008, less than two years after Lamar Hunt’s death.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.



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Tampa Bay Buccaneers left guard Ali Marpet (abdomen) downgraded to out vs. Indianapolis Colts

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without starting left guard and arguably one of their best offensive linemen, Ali Marpet, when they face the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, the team announced.

Marpet, who sustained an abdominal injury in the second quarter of Monday night’s game against the New York Giants, was downgraded to out Saturday prior to the team’s departure for Indianapolis.

He was initially going to be a game-time decision, but was listed on Friday’s injury report as doubtful.

Marpet was replaced in the game by Aaron Stinnie, who filled in for Alex Cappa last year during the playoffs when Cappa suffered a broken leg in the wild-card game at Washington.

In 51 snaps against the Giants, Stinnie surrendered one sack, and last year, he surrendered only one sack in the postseason — in the NFC Championship game against Kenny Clark.

Marpet’s 74.6% run block win rate is the highest of any offensive lineman on the team, as is his 92.5% pass blocking win rate.

The Colts, meanwhile, have given up 19.5 points per game over the last six games — eighth-best in the league.

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