Vikings do fine without Moss

Wide receiver on the field for only two plays

By Bob Brown

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice is concerned about Randy Moss, not because the talented Vikings wide receiver was on the field for only two plays Sunday, but because of Moss' reaction to not playing for the first time in his NFL career.

"He's frustrated after never missing a game,'' Tice said. "This is uncharted territory for him. He's always been part of it. I feel for the guy. The most important concern for us right now is his psyche.''


Moss, suffering from a pulled hamstring he suffered the previous week against the New Orleans Saints, started Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans and was on the field for one more play later in the first quarter before leaving for good. He spent the second half in the lockerroom undergoing treatment and watching the game on television and left the stadium immediately afterward.

For Moss, two streaks came to an end. He had a touchdown reception in 10 straight games, the fourth longest streak in NFL history, and his consecutive games with a reception ended at 101.

"He didn't reaggravate the injury,'' Tice said. "It was never unaggravated. When it appeared we were able to move the ball without him, it wasn't a bright thing to put him in the game. It was our decision, and the decision of the training staff, to send him to the lockerroom for treatment.''

Even without Moss, the Vikings won 20-3 to run their victory streak to four games.

"It changes things when Randy's not in there,'' Tice said. "But we made enough plays to win.''

Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper was prepared for Moss not playing.

"He practiced all week without Randy,'' Culpepper said, "so we knew there was a good possibility he couldn't play. We showed we have some other guys who can step up and play.''

Culpepper resorted to the short passing game without the deep threat of Moss in the game. Culpepper completed 14 passes (of his 20 completions) for nine yards or less.


"We did what we had to do,'' Culpepper said.

It isn't known when Moss will be healthy enough to return to action.

"It will be a day-to-day thing,'' Tice said.

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