Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Caleb King could be preseason insurance

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Adrian Peterson Updated: August 22, 2011 - 6:31 PM

The Vikings are set at running back, but that didn't stop them from agreeing to terms with rookie Caleb King, an interesting prospect who was eligible for but wasn't picked in today's NFL supplemental draft.

King is a physical back at 5-11, 220 pounds. He played at the University of Georgia, but was ruled academically ineligible before last season. He ran for 1,371 yards and 10 TDs for the Bulldogs.

Obviously, the Vikings don't need a running back. But they do need someone to help share the pain of the position from here through the end of the preseason.

We all know the fewer preseason touches Adrian Peterson gets, the better. He isn't expected to play at all in next week's final preseason game. Normally, that would give backup Toby Gerhart the starting role and a heap of the carries to share with No. 3 back Lorenzo Booker.

But Gerhart is battling ankle and Achilles' tendon soreness and sat out practice today. Gerhart is running with better balance and power this season. He's not a guy you want to beat up in preseason games either. And Booker is a smaller back and valuable special teamer, so he shouldn't be given a monster load in the finall preseason game.

That, I believe, is where Caleb will come in a week from Thursday. He could end up on the practice squad or, who knows, maybe get a shot at fullback.

King's agent, Kevin Connor, told the website dogbytesonline.com that King had several teams wanting to sign him as a free agent. Of course, King also was one of five supplemental draft-eligible players who wasn't picked.

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