Vikings tap veteran special teams coach to fill in

MANKATO, Minn. - The Minnesota Vikings have hired Joe Marciano to fill in for special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, who must serve a three-game suspension for an anti-gay comment that prompted a complaint from a former player.

Coach Mike Zimmer announced Sunday that Marciano would work with the special teams until Priefer returns, likely Sept. 22.

Marciano has coached NFL special teams for 28 years, including 12 with the Houston Texans until they fired him with head coach Gary Kubiak near the end of last season. Marciano has also coached in the league with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints.

Priefer said he believes assistant special teams coach Ryan Ficken could handle the job while he's away but endorsed the decision.

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