Moss plays briefly against Vikings, doesn't catch a pass

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 11, 2012 - 8:54 AM

Randy Moss enjoyed a rare opportunity Friday night, getting the chance to battle against the team that drafted him in 1998 and employed him for 113 regular-season games during eight seasons.

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San Francisco 49ers receiver Randy Moss warmed up before Friday night's preseason game against the Vikings in San Francisco.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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SAN FRANCISCO - Randy Moss enjoyed a rare opportunity Friday night, getting the chance to battle against the team that drafted him in 1998 and employed him for 113 regular-season games during eight seasons.

Moss had played against the Vikings only once before. That came during the 2006 preseason while he was with Oakland, five months after the Raiders acquired the wide receiver in a trade. In that game at the Metrodome, he had one 16-yard reception.

On Friday, Moss saw limited action in the first quarter. He had no receptions and no passes thrown to him in San Francisco's 17-6 victory.

With the 49ers, the 35-year-old Moss is getting a chance to revive his career after a year away from the league. Moss has also expressed his enjoyment in mentoring a crop of talented young San Francisco receivers that includes Mario Manningham, 26; Ted Ginn, 27; Michael Crabtree, 24, and A.J. Jenkins, 22.

"It's just a feeling that I haven't really felt in a while, just being around a group of young guys, and it makes me feel good that I can really not look at my age, and just feel young," Moss told the Associated Press this week. "So I have a little pep in my step. It really feels good being around the guys."

Welcome to the NFL

Rookie kicker Blair Walsh faced a potentially rough initiation into his first NFL game action Friday night. Candlestick Park's infamous gusty winds were alive and well. But Walsh handled the conditions well early on.

The rookie from Georgia capped the Vikings' first drive of the game with a 39-yard field goal that was right down the middle. He followed by putting the ensuing kickoff 5 yards into the end zone. LaMichael James opted to return the kick but was taken down at his own 16.

Walsh also nailed a 26-yard field goal to start the second quarter and followed with a kickoff through the end zone.

For a limited time only

Toby Gerhart's return to California might have carried a nostalgic twist. But the Vikings running back also delivered an impressive effort, carrying five times for 31 yards, all in the first quarter.

Gerhart grew up in Norco, Calif., in the southern part of the state, where, as a high school star, he set the California record with 9,662 career rushing yards. He added 3,522 rushing yards during his college days at Stanford, about 30 miles from where Friday's game was played. Gerhart was the Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2009.

The Vikings limited Gerhart's activity Friday by design, still positioning him to be their backfield workhorse early during the regular season as Adrian Peterson works back to full health.

Secondary concerns

When the Vikings emerged from April's draft, the internal belief was that they had emerged with three defensive backs -- Harrison Smith, Josh Robinson and Robert Blanton -- who could all be future starters and valuable building blocks. Yet to date, injuries have hampered two of those picks. Both Robinson and Blanton sat out Friday's game nursing hamstring problems.

Robinson, a third-round pick, pulled a hamstring during the Vikings' first training camp practice in Mankato on July 27. And while he has been back at practice this week and showing signs he is headed back toward full health, the coaching staff opted to hold him out of the preseason opener as a precautionary measure.

Blanton, meanwhile, suffered his hamstring injury on July 30 and has yet to return to practice. That has given the Vikings coaching staff very little to evaluate as they put together their plans for the 2012 season.

Etc.

•The Vikings also chose to keep veteran defensive players Antoine Winfield, Kevin Williams and Jared Allen plus receiver Percy Harvin out of action for Friday's game.

•Nose tackle Letroy Guion injured a knee on the Vikings' first defensive series and did not return.

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Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
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Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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