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With no Moss, what's next?
Percy Harvin (Rich Gabrielson/Viking Update)
The Sports XChange
Posted Nov 5, 2010
The Vikings’ receiver corps is extremely thin without Randy Moss and an ailing Percy Harvin. What’s next at the position, and for Brad Childress?
Vikings players have to be asking what will happen next.
A crazy season that has seen the Vikings go from an NFC favorite to a near also-ran at 2-5, took another bizarre turn this week when coach Brad Childress informed the team he planned to place wide receiver
on waivers. Moss had played in four games for the team since being acquired from New England for a third-round pick.
Childress' decision, which was made without the immediate input of owner Zygi Wilf and has caused big friction at Winter Park, left the Vikings without a true No. 1 receiver and Childress facing the potential for an in-season dismissal a year after getting a contract extension.
Through all of this the Vikings are in the midst of preparations for Sunday's game against Arizona at Mall of America Field. The game is of huge importance to a team that went 1-3 during a rough stretch in October. Fortunately for the Vikings, the Cardinals (3-4) also have plenty of issues.
The Vikings were able to beat Dallas, which has turned out to be an even bigger bust than Minnesota, but lost to the Jets, Green Bay and New England on the road.
Moss played in all those games and had 13 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns. But he also established to Childress that he wasn't the type of guy the coach wanted in the locker room.
So what's next? And who the heck is
going to throw the ball to?
The Vikings are hoping at some point to get
back. Rice underwent hip surgery in late August and remains a question mark. He began practicing on a limited basis Wednesday.
The Vikings now have a three-week window to activate him to the 53-man roster or leave him on the PUP and end his season.
The Vikings are saying Rice is unlikely against the Cardinals, meaning they are going to need more production from
, who to this point has had a lost season.
Berrian has only nine catches for 87 yards in seven games and four receptions while Moss was on the roster. Moss' departure also will have an impact on
, but it might not be positive.
Harvin had to line up more outside at receiver and drew added coverage before Moss arrived. But in the four games Moss was around, Harvin thrived. He caught 19 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns.
It will be interesting to see how the Vikings now use Harvin, who is dealing with a sprained ankle he suffered against the Patriots but managed to play through. He didn’t practice Thursday and Friday.
The Vikings also are going to have to use
on a more regular basis. The 6-3 Baskett has been inactive for the past four games, but he will now become the Vikings' big receiver.
None of this is going to make fans very happy and the decision to let go of Moss already has been heavily criticized. All of this should make for an interesting day for Childress and his team on Sunday.
SERIES HISTORY: 21st regular-season meeting. Series tied, 10-10. The Cardinals cruised to a 30-17 victory over the visiting Vikings last season. That came a year after Minnesota went into Arizona and won 35-14. The Vikings have won seven of the past nine games and nine of the 12 meetings between these teams since the Cardinals relocated from St. Louis.
BY THE NUMBERS: 3 — Consecutive seasons DE
has finished with at least 14.5 sacks. Allen has been credited with 16 quarterback hurries this season but has only one sack in seven games.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I can't speak for everybody else. For me it's a little bit of both, but it's part of the business. I just have to move on and this team has to move on. We'll be fine." — Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin when asked if he was disappointed or angry that Randy Moss was let go.
QB Brett Favre did limited work in practice on Thursday after sitting out Wednesday because of a stress fracture in his left ankle and fracture in his left heel. He also is dealing with a gash in his chin that required 10 stitches Sunday.
WR Percy Harvin did not practice Wednesday or Thursday because of an ankle sprain and there is a chance he won't be able to play Sunday.
(quadriceps) was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.
(ankle) was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.
(knee) was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.
(hand) was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.
CB Frank Walker (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.
(elbow) was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.
(back) was able to take part in all of Wednesday and Thursday's practice.
(calf) was able to take part in all of Wednesday and Thursday's practice.
Notebook: Other receivers await their chance
Nov 6, 2010
With no Moss, passing game goes off
Nov 8, 2010
Vikings win for themselves, not Childress
Nov 8, 2010
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