Michael Floyd warms up before the start of Super Bowl LI as a member of the New England Patriots. Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA
The Minnesota Vikings are supporting wide receiver Michael Floyd's defense that kombucha tea caused him to violate terms of his house arrest by accidentally ingesting alcohol.
Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren wrote a letter backing Floyd's claim that he did not know kombucha tea contains alcohol, according to Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Warren sent the letter to Floyd's attorney, Robert Feinberg, who attached it to a defense motion urging Scottsdale (Ariz.) City Judge Statia Hendrix to cancel the hearing and reinstate electronic monitoring for the last five days of Floyd's 96-day home confinement.
According to the newspaper, Warren's letter corroborates Floyd's claim that he was unaware kombucha tea contained alcohol when he drank several bottles while watching movies into the early morning of June 11 at the Minnesota house of Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, his former college roommate at Notre Dame.
"I am writing to request Mr. Floyd not have his court mandated requirements negatively impacted since he did not know the kombucha he ingested contained alcohol," Warren wrote in the June 21 letter, which was copied to Vikings president Mark Wilf, general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer.
Floyd, 27, later failed three self-administered Breathalyzer tests and was ordered by the Scottsdale judge to appear Monday and prove he did not violate probation from his February extreme DUI conviction. The violation could land Floyd back in jail.
Floyd said in a sworn affidavit that the Vikings encourage their players to consume kombucha tea as a health drink and that it is served "on tap" at Winter Park, the newspaper reported.
In his letter, Warren explained how kombucha tea is "utilized by many professional athletes as a probiotic and is available at our facility on a daily basis."
Floyd was arrested for DUI on Dec. 12 in Scottsdale, prompting his release two days later from the Arizona Cardinals. He pleaded guilty in February to extreme DUI (blood alcohol content of .150-.199) and served 24 days in Maricopa County (Ariz.) Jail before having to serve 96 days on house arrest.
The house-arrest sentence was transferred from Arizona to Minnesota last month, allowing Floyd to participate in the Vikings' offseason program.
In the December incident, a video surfaced of officers trying to awaken Floyd in his Cadillac Escalade while it was running at traffic light at 2:48 a.m. local time.
After being cut by the Cardinals, the New England Patriots gave Floyd a second chance by claiming him off waivers on Dec. 15. He played sparingly for New England but did catch a touchdown pass in Week 17.
Floyd caught a pass for nine yards in the Patriots' AFC divisional playoff win over the Houston Texans but was inactive for the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LI.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound former first-round pick (13th overall) had 33 catches for 446 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games for the Cardinals in 2016 before his release.
Floyd's best season came in 2013 when he had 65 catches for 1,041 yards and five touchdowns. For his career, he has 246 receptions for 3,781 yards and 24 touchdowns in 78 games.
Floyd became an unrestricted free agent in March before signing a one-year deal with the Vikings in May and likely will face a league suspension as a result of his guilty plea.