Vikings' Wes Phillips suspended after careless driving resolution

April 2, 2024, 10:39 AM

The Minnesota Vikings suspended offensive coordinator Wes Phillips for three weeks without pay following the legal resolution of a 2023 traffic stop in Minneapolis, the team confirmed.

The suspension began Tuesday and will conclude April 22, with a return to work on April 23. He'll miss a key portion of draft preparation as the Vikings pursue their next quarterback, as well as the first week of the team's offseason strength and conditioning program, which begins April 14.

Phillips, who joined the Vikings as part of coach Kevin O'Connell's original staff in 2022, was stopped Dec. 8 on I-394 at approximately 9:45 p.m. CT. He showed signs of impairment and ultimately his blood alcohol content tested at 0.10, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. The legal limit in Minnesota is 0.08. 

Phillips was booked into the Hennepin County jail and released early the next morning after posting $300 bond. He accompanied the team to Las Vegas later that day and continued working through the end of the regular season.

On Feb. 15, Phillips entered a guilty plea to an amended charge of misdemeanor careless driving. 

He paid a $300 fine and a $78 surcharge and was assigned to perform eight hours of community work at a non-profit within 60 days.

O'Connell said in December that he was "incredibly disappointed."

Speaking later to reporters, Phillips said he would learn from his mistake.

"Aside from the standards I have for myself," Phillips said, "I do understand that as a coach in this league there are certain standards from the NFL and from the Minnesota Vikings, and I didn't live up to those standards. The last thing I would ever want to do is detract from the attention being on the great things these guys do on the field. So that was unfortunate.

"I do believe in being accountable, and learning from your mistakes, accepting whatever discipline that may come down the road, growing from it and going forward with a positive attitude."