Brett Favre finally got his wish. He will be playing with Randy Moss, and the Vikings couldn't be happier about it.
The Super-Bowl-or-bust Vikings got Moss from New England on Wednesday for a 2011 draft pick, another eye-opening acquisition that comes just in time to rejuvenate a stagnant offense for a challenging stretch of games.
The Patriots gave the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver the exit he expected and sent him back to the team that turned him into a superstar after drafting him in the first round in 1998.
There are still plenty of fond memories around here of Moss's electrifying performances, along with his colorful comments and contrarian behavior.
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"He can still go downtown and get the football, which is a stand-alone factor," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "He could sprain his toe here sometime coming up, and you could say that he's 33, it's old age. But there's always risk-reward. I don't necessarily see this as boom or bust. I think he's got some more football in him."
The Vikings play at New York on Monday night, and Childress said without hesitation Moss would be in uniform against the Jets — in his old purple No. 84.
"Man, we wish this would have happened a week later," Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson said.
The drama will be high around here all month. Check out Minnesota's last two games in October: at rival Green Bay, and then at New England.
"In this business, there are complex and often difficult decisions; but it is my responsibility to make them based on what I feel is best for our football team, in both the short term and long term," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to have coached Randy Moss; and aside from facing him as an opponent, I wish him the very best for the remainder of his Hall of Fame career."
The Vikings didn't practice on Wednesday. Moss is expected to join the team today and talk with reporters afterward.
He will move from catching passes from Tom Brady to Favre, who desperately needed a downfield threat after Pro Bowl receiver Sidney Rice had hip surgery in August. Struggling Bernard Berrian has been a nonfactor, and Percy Harvin — when healthy — is better suited for the slot position.
"This is an exciting move; I think everybody feels that in the locker room," Favre said on the team's website. "It's rare you get to play with a future Hall of Famer and get to appreciate their talents up close. Randy Moss is a great player and his career speaks for itself. I've admired him from a distance for a long time, and you can't help but be impressed by the guy."
Moss spent his first seven seasons in Minnesota, where he set all kinds of records and became one of the most exciting playmakers in the league. He burned Favre's Packers often, racking up 9,142 yards and 90 touchdowns during his first stint with Minnesota and fueling a run to NFC title game appearances following the 1998 and 2000 seasons.
Portis sidelined — Clinton Portis will be out at least a month with a groin injury, putting the two-time Pro Bowl running back's future in doubt once again.
His injury leaves the Washington Redskins with a very inexperienced backfield, too.
Coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday that Portis has a third degree separation of the left groin, with the muscle separated off the bone. Portis will not require surgery, and the coach estimated a recovery time of four to six weeks.
"That's disappointing," Shanahan said, "that working so hard, playing so well, that he's got that setback."
Portis was hurt in Sunday's 17-12 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, when he was already starting to share more of the rushing load with Ryan Torain. Now the only two healthy tailbacks on the roster are Torain and Chad Simpson, who have combined for 70 carries in their NFL careers heading into this week's game against the Green Bay Packers.
Hobbled Saints — Another player who contributed to the New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl run has to be replaced for a few games.
Tracy Porter will be out three to four weeks after arthroscopic surgery to repair the lateral meniscus in his left knee, leaving a team that has already looked vulnerable without one of its starting cornerbacks.
Four regulars were unable to practice Wednesday: Porter, defensive end Will Smith (groin), and running backs Reggie Bush (right fibula) and Pierre Thomas (left ankle). Then there were players — including strong safeties Roman Harper (hamstring) and Pierson Prioleau (chest) —who were banged up but practiced on a limited basis with the hope of being able to play at Arizona on Sunday.
"Part of the success that you have in this league has a lot to do with how you respond to injuries and how a team can persevere through some of the unfortunate things that happen," said Prioleau, a special teams captain who started at safety last Sunday in place of Harper but was knocked out of the game on kick coverage.
"It's obvious that we've had to endure some injuries to some key players in key spots on this team, but it's going to show the mark of the team that we are to have the ability to come out and still produce on the field with the guy that's next in line."
In all, 19 players were listed on New Orleans' injury report, although 12 practiced fully.