MINNEAPOLIS » When Randy Moss first came to Minnesota 12 years ago, he electrified a stagnant franchise and immediately turned it into a Super Bowl contender.
Now the Vikings need him to do it again.
The New England Patriots traded the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver yesterday, sending him back to the place where he became an NFL superstar, in exchange for a 2011 draft pick.
"He can still go downtown and get the football, which is a stand-alone factor," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "He could sprain his toe here sometime coming up, and you could say that he’s 33, it’s old age. But there’s always risk reward. I don’t necessarily see this as boom or bust. I think he’s got some more football in him."
The Vikings play at New York on Monday night, and Childress said without hesitation that Moss would be in uniform against the Jets — his old purple No. 84.
"Man, we wish this would have happened a week later,"’ Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson said.
The drama is sure to be high around here all month. Check out Minnesota’s last two games in October: at rival Green Bay, and then at New England.
"In this business, there are complex and often difficult decisions, but it is my responsibility to make them based on what I feel is best for our football team, in both the short term and long term," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to have coached Randy Moss and aside from facing him as an opponent, I wish him the very best for the remainder of his Hall of Fame career."
Moss was a first-round pick of the Vikings in 1998 and spent his first seven seasons in Minnesota, where he set all kinds of records and became one of the most exciting playmakers in the league — also giving the Vikings more than a few headaches over those years with attitude problems and some off-the-field trouble.
Moss will move from catching passes from Tom Brady to Brett Favre, who desperately needed a downfield threat after Pro Bowl receiver Sidney Rice had hip surgery in August. Struggling Bernard Berrian has been a nonfactor, and Percy Harvin — when healthy — is better suited for the slot position.
"This is an exciting move; I think everybody feels that in the locker room," Favre said on the team’s website. "It’s rare you get to play with a future Hall of Famer and get to appreciate their talents up close. Randy Moss is a great player and his career speaks for itself. I’ve admired him from a distance for a long time, and you can’t help but be impressed by the guy."
Tired of his behavior and wary of a hamstring injury that hampered him in the 2004 season, the Vikings traded Moss to Oakland in 2005. He wore out his welcome there, too, and the Raiders sent him to New England in 2007. Favre, then with the Packers, was frustrated at the time that his team didn’t land Moss after talking with Oakland about a trade.
Childress, though, denied that Favre lobbied for the move. The coach said owner Zygi Wilf gave his blessing on Monday.
"I don’t think any of us thought this guy was going to be available," Childress said.
The Vikings in exchange will give the Patriots their third-round draft pick in 2011 and get a seventh-rounder from New England in 2012, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, speaking on condition of anonymity because the teams did not disclose terms of the deal.
AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
Games listed under INJURY REPORT
Minnesota at N.Y. Jets, 2:30 p.m.
(Injury report unavailable)
Open: Miami, New England, Pittsburgh, Seattle
NFL INJURY REPORT
The National Football League injury report, as provided by the league (OUT – Definitely will not play; DNP – Did not practice; LIMITED – Limited participation in practice; FULL – Full participation in practice):
CHICAGO BEARS at CAROLINA PANTHERS
BEARS: DNP: T Chris Williams (hamstring), S Major Wright (hamstring). LIMITED: QB Jay Cutler (head), G Lance Louis (knee). FULL: QB Todd Collins (neck). PANTHERS: DNP: S Sherrod Martin (concussion), T Jeff Otah (knee), WR Steve Smith (ankle), RB DeAngelo Williams (illness). LIMITED: LB Jamar Williams (neck).
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS at CINCINNATI BENGALS
BUCCANEERS: LIMITED: LB Niko Koutouvides (ankle), DE Kyle Moore (shoulder). FULL: WR Maurice Stovall (back), TE Kellen Winslow (knee). BENGALS: DNP: DE Jonathan Fanene (hamstring), WR Jordan Shipley (concussion), S Roy Williams (knee). LIMITED: LB Dhani Jones (hamstring), CB Johnathan Joseph (forearm), RB Bernard Scott (hamstring).
ST. LOUIS RAMS at DETROIT LIONS
RAMS: DNP: CB Kevin Dockery (hamstring), DT Gary Gibson (shoulder), DT Clifton Ryan (migraines), DT Darell Scott (ankle). LIMITED: TE Billy Bajema (knee), LB Chris Chamberlain (toe), TE Michael Hoomanawanui (ankle), RB Steven Jackson (groin), P Donnie Jones (left calf), T Rodger Saffold (tibia), S Darian Stewart (hamstring). FULL: WR Laurent Robinson (ankle). LIONS: DNP: RB Aaron Brown (finger), S C.C. Brown (quadriceps), LB DeAndre Levy (groin, ankle), TE Tony Scheffler (concussion), QB Matthew Stafford (right shoulder). LIMITED: RB Jahvid Best (toe), WR Nate Burleson (ankle), S Louis Delmas (groin), DT Sammie Hill (knee).
NEW YORK GIANTS at HOUSTON TEXANS
GIANTS: OUT: T William Beatty (foot). DNP: RB Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle), LB Keith Bulluck (toe), RB Madison Hedgecock (hamstring), DE Mathias Kiwanuka (neck), T Adam Koets (knee), C Shaun O’Hara (ankle, Achilles), S Kenny Phillips (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee). TEXANS: OUT: LB Kevin Bentley (knee). DNP: WR Andre Johnson (ankle), WR Jacoby Jones (calf). LIMITED: S Dominique Barber (ribs), TE Owen Daniels (hamstring), S Bernard Pollard (neck), RB Derrick Ward (ribs), S Eugene Wilson (hamstring). FULL: DE Jesse Nading (knee), LB Darryl Sharpton (ankle).
DENVER BRONCOS at BALTIMORE RAVENS
BRONCOS: DNP: CB Champ Bailey (not injury related), RB Spencer Larsen (ankle). LIMITED: CB Andre’ Goodman (quadricep), RB Knowshon Moreno (hamstring), LB Wesley Woodyard (hamstring). RAVENS: OUT: T Jared Gaither (back), LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder), DE Paul Kruger (knee), WR Donte’ Stallworth (foot). LIMITED: LB Edgar Jones (thigh). FULL: TE Todd Heap (shoulder), RB Le’Ron McClain (shoulder), RB Ray Rice (knee).
ATLANTA FALCONS at CLEVELAND BROWNS
FALCONS: LIMITED: WR Michael Jenkins (shoulder), LB Curtis Lofton (knee), LB Sean Weatherspoon (ankle). BROWNS: DNP: DE Kenyon Coleman (knee), C Alex Mack (shoulder), DT Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip), DE Robaire Smith (back), S Nick Sorensen (calf), T John St. Clair (ankle). LIMITED: WR Joshua Cribbs (ankle), QB Jake Delhomme (ankle), T Shawn Lauvao (ankle), WR Brian Robiskie (hamstring). FULL: RB Jerome Harrison (thigh).
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
CHIEFS: DNP: S Reshard Langford (ankle), T Ryan O’Callaghan (groin). LIMITED: DE Tyson Jackson (knee). COLTS: DNP: S Antoine Bethea (hamstring), RB Donald Brown (hamstring), WR Austin Collie (foot), LB Kavell Conner (foot), DE Dwight Freeney (not injury related), WR Anthony Gonzalez (ankle), CB Jacob Lacey (foot), S Bob Sanders (biceps), WR Reggie Wayne (knee). FULL: RB Joseph Addai (knee), LB Gary Brackett (back), WR Pierre Garcon (hamstring), T Charlie Johnson (foot), CB Brandon King (hamstring), CB Jerraud Powers (foot), G Jamey Richard (shoulder), LB Clint Session (hamstring).
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS at BUFFALO BILLS
JAGUARS: DNP: RB Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle). LIMITED: S Sean Considine (hamstring), LB Justin Durant (ankle), RB Rashad Jennings (shoulder), G Justin Smiley (ankle). BILLS: DNP: LB Keith Ellison (knee), CB Terrence McGee (back), LB Arthur Moats (elbow), S Bryan Scott (knee), CB Ashton Youboty (hamstring). LIMITED: LB Andra Davis (shoulder), DE Marcus Stroud (ankle).
GREEN BAY PACKERS at WASHINGTON REDSKINS
PACKERS: OUT: S Morgan Burnett (knee). DNP: LB Nick Barnett (wrist), LB Brandon Chillar (shoulder), T Chad Clifton (knee), S Nick Collins (knee), RB Quinn Johnson (glute), CB Sam Shields (calf), T Mark Tauscher (shoulder), CB Charles Woodson (toe). FULL: DE Cullen Jenkins (hand), S Derrick Martin (ankle), S Charlie Peprah (quadricep). REDSKINS: OUT: RB Clinton Portis (groin). DNP: P Josh Bidwell (right hip). LIMITED: T Trent Williams (toe). FULL: S Chris Horton (ankle), S LaRon Landry (wrist), G Kory Lichtensteiger (knee), QB Donovan McNabb (thigh).
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
at ARIZONA CARDINALS
SAINTS: DNP: RB Reggie Bush (fibula), CB Tracy Porter (knee), DE Will Smith (groin), RB Pierre Thomas (ankle). LIMITED: S Roman Harper (hamstring), S Pierson Prioleau (chest), TE Jeremy Shockey (knee). FULL: LB Stanley Arnoux (ankle), QB Drew Brees (knee), WR Marques Colston (rib), CB Randall Gay (foot), TE Jimmy Graham (ankle), RB Christopher Ivory (knee), T Jon Stinchcomb (shoulder), T Zach Strief (knee), CB Leigh Torrence (toe), LB Anthony Waters (hamstring), DE Jimmy Wilkerson (knee), S Usama Young (quadricep). CARDINALS: DNP: WR Steve Breaston (knee), WR Early Doucet (groin), DE Kenny Iwebema (knee), S Matt Ware (ankle). LIMITED: LB Paris Lenon (pelvis).
TENNESSEE TITANS at DALLAS COWBOYS
TITANS: DNP: DT Tony Brown (knee), WR Justin Gage (hamstring), G Leroy Harris (ankle), DT Sen’Derrick Marks (knee), CB Jason McCourty (forearm). FULL: DE Jacob Ford (ankle). COWBOYS: FULL: WR Dez Bryant (ribs), G Kyle Kosier (knee), TE Jason Witten (knee).
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
EAGLES: DNP: WR Riley Cooper (concussion), RB LeSean McCoy (rib), CB Asante Samuel (concussion), QB Michael Vick (rib). LIMITED: G Nick Cole (knee). FULL: CB Jorrick Calvin (shoulder), TE Brent Celek (wrist), G Todd Herremans (shoulder), T Austin Howard (back), LB Akeem Jordan (abdomen). 49ERS: OUT: TE Delanie Walker (ankle). LIMITED: WR Kyle Williams (finger). FULL: G Chilo Rachal (knee).
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS at OAKLAND RAIDERS
CHARGERS: OUT: LB Larry English (foot). DNP: LB Brandon Siler (foot), S Darrell Stuckey (hamstring). LIMITED: LB Shawne Merriman (calf), G Louis Vasquez (knee). RAIDERS: DNP: RB Michael Bennett (hamstring), G Robert Gallery (hamstring), LB Travis Goethel (back), LB Quentin Groves (hamstring), DT John Henderson (foot), LB Thomas Howard (knee), LB Rolando McClain (not injury related), RB Darren McFadden (hamstring), CB Walter McFadden (hamstring), WR Chaz Schilens (knee), CB Jeremy Ware (ankle). LIMITED: LB Ricky Brown (hamstring), QB Bruce Gradkowski (right shoulder), TE Zach Miller (hip). FULL: S Hiram Eugene (hamstring), CB Chris Johnson (ankle).