Vikings coach Brad Childress attempted to downplay the potential of a trade involving running back Mewelde Moore on Monday, saying the return on such a deal "would have to jar you."
Nonetheless, the speculation that began last week when Tampa Bay called the Vikings about the availability of their No. 3 running back could continue until the Oct. 16 trading deadline. Especially now that the Buccaneers have lost their top two running backs in the past two games.
Tampa Bay reportedly offered the Vikings a sixth-round pick for Moore after running back Cadillac Williams' season was ended because of a ruptured patellar tendon on Sept. 30. The Vikings, however, asked for a third-round choice, ending the talks. But the Bucs' needs increased Sunday when Michael Pittman suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out for six to eight weeks. Bucs coach Jon Gruden said Monday that team officials will continue to explore all options.
Moore definitely could benefit from the change of scenery. Set to become a free agent after this season, he has been inactive for two of the Vikings' four games. Moore played in Weeks 2 and 3 when Chester Taylor sat out because of a hip injury, rushing for 71 yards on 10 carries and catching six passes for 46 yards.
Asked if this had been a frustrating season for him, Moore was diplomatic. "I'm happy with being able to have this opportunity, this privilege to play the game," he said. "Anybody who plays and competes wants to compete and wants to go out there and help their team win. ... [To be] more involved in everything, everybody wants that. But also as a professional, it's very important that you do everything that is in your power to get ready, be prepared and [be] ready at any time to go out and help your team."
Childress said he talked to Moore, as well as Taylor and left tackle Bryant McKinnie, after their names popped up in trade rumors involving Tampa Bay last week before Vikings players departed for their bye week. "I'm satisfied with where I am at with those guys," Childress said. "It's early in the year; we are only a quarter of the way through this thing."
The Vikings will hold a clothing and household goods drive from 2:30 to 4 p.m. today to benefit the United Way-funded Arc Greater Twin Cities. Fans can drop off bags of donated items at Winter Park (9520 Viking Dr. in Eden Prairie) and have a chance to win a drawing for lower-level tickets to the Vikings-Philadelphia game on Oct. 28 at the Metrodome. Several players will assist in helping to unload cars.
Defensive lineman Darrion Scott injured his left foot during Monday's practice. He was on the field at the start of drills when the media are allowed to watch but afterward was using crutches in the locker room. Scott quickly disappeared into the trainer's room. McKinnie, meanwhile, had his left hand heavily wrapped after practice.
The condition of defensive end Erasmus James' knee is no longer a factor in determining whether he will play in games, Childress said. James has been inactive all season as he continues to recover from knee surgery, but now he is simply competing with the Vikings' other defensive linemen for a spot on the 45-man roster on game days.
Childress on the Packers' 27-20 loss to the Bears on Sunday night: "I think it's an example of obviously a tale of two halves. You can't ever get conservative in this business because it's too close. You've got to stay on [the] throttle. You've got to be smart with the football; I'm sure anybody would tell you that, but I think you still have to be aggressive as well." The Packers, who had five turnovers, let a 17-7 halftime lead get away.
Childress on the vote of confidence he received from owner Zygi Wilf last week: "We have a good relationship. Obviously I understand this business is driven by wins and losses, but I communicate lots of things through him and he's as close to this program [as] he has ever been."
The Vikings' Oct. 21 game at Dallas has been moved to a 3:15 p.m. start to accommodate Fox television.
Staff writer Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.