Vikings hint at needing RB insurance

Posted Jan. 29, 2012 @ 9:53 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and his staff got a free scouting edge over the rest of the league with their experience coaching at the Senior Bowl. They have positional needs all over the place, most notably on defense and along the offensive line. But they also could be in the market for a running back.

It's considered a position of strength, but the health of RBs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart raises concerns over whether the team can afford not to bring in another body. Frazier said he believes the team will have enough information on Peterson's torn ACL and Gerhart's partially torn MCL to give it a good idea how pressing the RB need is.

"We will. We should know more about Toby in the weeks to come," Frazier said from Mobile, Ala. "Everything I am hearing, he is (headed) in the right direction without having surgery. It's a little bit longer time for Adrian, but we're optimistic. I am sure by Draft Day we'll have a better idea of where we are."

As for what type of back the Vikings might need, they'll start with the mold of the backs they have.

"You'd like to clone Adrian Peterson," Frazier said. "He's special; he's fun to watch. We've kind of gotten spoiled. We're looking forward to his return to be as explosive as he's been in the past. Toby came in and gave us a different dimension. He showed us that he could gain yards — it might not be as flashy, but you can still gain positive yards.

"You'd like to find a guy who is going to be durable but also be able to gain yards after contact, create his own holes at times and catch the ball. You also want someone who can (pass-) block on third down, as well. We have those things with Adrian and Toby, but we have to look out there and maybe see if there is another guy out there that we can maybe draft and develop."

Late in the season, the team brought in Caleb King, who went undrafted last year in the supplemental draft, and Jordan Todman, who spent most of last season on the Chargers' practice squad. The Vikings also could bring back No. 3 RB Lorenzo Booker to help fill the void until either Gerhart or Peterson returns. Peterson likely won't take the field until August at the earliest.