No Mas? (No Moore?)

When the Vikings drafted Adrian Peterson, many of the initial questions concerned how he would interact on the field with Chester Taylor. In the months that have passed, it's become clear that the Vikings intend to use both extensively. So what happens to Mewelde Moore? He looks like the real victim in the numbers game.

With all the talk about Adrian Peterson and how he will mesh with Chester Taylor, much of the initial talk was how the two would co-exist. Brad Childress went out of his way on draft weekend to tell the assembled masses that he had some experience in that regard with Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter of the Eagles. However, with Buckhalter's extensive injury past, that seemed more like a moot point than a legitimate comparison to the tandems like Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister, Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney or Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson.

While those teams and others have proved that a two-headed backfield can work, nobody speaks of a three-man backfield in the pros, which can't be good news for the Vikings' Mewelde Moore.

Over the years, Moore has made an impact with the Vikings, even though he quickly had to wear the stigma of Mike Tice saying he can't be an every-down running back. Although Tice would seem to have been proved correct since Moore hasn't been able to hold up when asked to be a 20-carry-a-game player even on the short term, his value to the Vikings offense has been pronounced.

His value as a third-down back and receiver have been a boon for the Vikings, who have been in need of help in that regard in recent years. In 2006, only Westbrook was the target of more red zone passes for a running back (12) than Moore's 11. He was a weapon that could be used all over the field, but even more so in close where teams want touchdowns instead of field goals. He adapted to his role as the backup to Taylor and made the most of it.

Enter Peterson, stage left. The highest drafted running back by the Vikings in a generation, Peterson's biggest asset is the same as Moore's – speed and the ability to get into the open field. One of Childress' biggest jobs is going to be trying to decide how to keep both Taylor and Peterson happy. The best way is have them both on the field for significant stretches. That will likely come at the expense of somebody – with Moore's name on the top of the list.

While Moore has never been mentioned in the same breath as Pro Bowl running backs, he has filled in important role as a runner, receiver and returner. But with the arrival of Peterson, who at a minimum will likely start the season as a third-down and change-of-pace back, it would seem Moore is the one player more than any other who is lost in the shuffle.

While it's unlikely the Vikings would release Moore because of his value to the team in multiple roles, it would seem his days as a Viking might be numbered. Whether or not the team will get any trade offers is speculation because even big-time players only go for Day Two draft picks, much less a guy with the tag of not being able to hold up for 16 games.

You knew that when the Vikings made their first pick – whether it would have been Peterson or Brady Quinn – that someone would have to suffer. At first, it looked as though that person would be Taylor. It's looking more and more like the real sufferer is going to be Moore, who may find himself as a man without a role.

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