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Moss to sit out Monday night

Posted: Sunday, November 07, 2004

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Vikings star Randy Moss will miss a game for the first time in his NFL career on Monday night, sitting out against the Indianapolis Colts with a strained right hamstring.

If Moss travels with the team to Indianapolis he'll sit upstairs in the coaches' booth, Vikings coach Mike Tice said Saturday. Moss was downgraded to doubtful on the injury report; his hamstring improved this week, but he has not practiced. The All-Pro receiver was hurt shortly before halftime of the Vikings' game at New Orleans on Oct. 17, and he has played just 11 snaps over the last 10 quarters, with zero catches.

He has 26 receptions for 394 yards and eight touchdowns this season for the Vikings (5-2), who don't want to risk further harm to their prized wideout even though he has a history of outstanding performances in prime-time games.

''We've been a little blessed and lucky to this point he hasn't taken a step backwards,'' Tice said. ''At a certain point, you're not going to maintain that luck. So we have to be very smart.''

Moss has had recurring ankle sprains throughout his career and was bothered by a sore foot at the end of last season. But he has played in every game preseason, regular season and playoffs for the Vikings since they drafted him with the 21st overall pick in 1998.

His breakout game came as a rookie, when he had 190 yards and two touchdowns receiving to lead Minnesota to a victory over the rival Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in front of a stunned Monday night crowd.

At the Metrodome in 2001, Moss totaled 171 yards and three touchdowns in a Monday night win over the New York Giants.

The team will re-evaluate Moss next week before making a decision about his availability for the Vikings' game at Green Bay on Nov. 14, but he's not expected to be at full speed for another few weeks. In the meantime, Marcus Robinson, Nate Burleson and Kelly Campbell will be asked to carry the receiving load.

Ben Nelson will be active against the Colts (4-3) as the fourth receiver.



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