Two-Back Theory

Due to a potential season-ending injury to Deuce McAllister, the Saints are likely going to have to the rest of year with just Reggie Bush as the stud of their backfield. The Saints are far from alone in the rash of injuries that have sent star running backs to the sidelines.

Prior to the 2007 draft, there was speculation that the Vikings would draft Adrian Peterson if he was available. But, there were skeptics who asked what the Vikings would do with Chester Taylor if Peterson was drafted. As it turned out, there was nothing they needed to do.

Just as the axiom has gone in recent years that teams need two quality quarterbacks on the roster to succeed, so too is the belief that a team needs two go-to running backs. Just three weeks into the season, that point has been pointed out in a painful way.

The Saints likely lost Deuce McAllister for the season last night with a torn ACL. Brian Westbrook has been banged up early for the Eagles. Ahman Green gave the Texans a scare when he left early in Sunday's game with knee damage. Steven Jackson is going to miss at least one week with a groin tear. Brandon Jacobs of the Giants is expected to be sidelined for at least a month. Shaun Alexander is playing with a broken bone in his wrist. Even the Vikings haven't been immune, with Taylor missing two games with an injury that has been described as both a hip injury and a strained oblique muscle.

The Vikings have been fortunate that Peterson has been able to hit the ground running and made himself the early front-runner for Rookie of the Year. But the team is rightfully concerned about over-using A.P. He is averaging 21 carries a game – a pace few rookies can hold up under – but with the lack of playmakers on offense, the Vikings may have to lean on Peterson heavily until Taylor returns to health.

Welcome to life in the NFL, where two running backs that can carry the mail have become a requirement.

TUESDAY NOTES
* When asked about the Vikings QB situation for Sunday, Brad Childress remained just as slippery as he did last week – but at least he eliminated Brooks Bollinger from the equation, saying that either Kelly Holcomb or Tarvaris Jackson will start vs. the Packers.
* Antoine Winfield said Monday that he's going to ask the coaching staff to let him lock up one on one with Donald Driver Sunday in hopes of preventing him from being the guy who catches TD No. 241 from Brett Favre, which will set the new record for touchdowns in the NFL.
* Adrian Peterson's 431 yards from scrimmage through three games is a Vikings team record.
* A.P. already has two 100-yard rushing days. The team record is three for a rookie set by Chuck Foreman in 1973.

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