The Vikings signed veteran running back Ryan Moats on Tuesday, according to the team's website. Update: Moats received a one-year deal from the Vikings.
Moats, a sixth-year player from Louisiana Tech, was released this month by the Houston Texans after two seasons with the team. Moats joins a Vikings depth chart at running back that includes Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Albert Young, Darius Reynaud and Ian Johnson. The team released third-year running back James Johnson on Monday. Johnson had been signed as a free agent this offseason after playing for Cincinnati in 2009.
“I watched [the Vikings] last year get so close to achieving the ultimate goal,” Moats told the Vikings website. “I’m honored to be a part of the team. I look forward to being a member of the team and working hard to help us get to the Super Bowl.”
Moats, 27, was a third-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005. That also was the last season Vikings coach Brad Childress was the Eagles' offensive coordinator. Moats played in seven games that season and rushed for 278 yards on 55 carries with three touchdowns.
The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Moats rushed for only 69 yards in eight games with the Eagles in 2006 and did not play in 2007 because of a left ankle fibula fracture suffered during Philadelphia's first preseason game that August at Baltimore. He was placed on waivers in August 2008 and signed with Arizona. The Texans signed Moats to their practice squad in October 2008.
Moats played in nine games in 2008 with Houston and then appeared in 14 games last season, rushing for a career-high 390 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught a career-best 13 passes. Moats' best game came in a 31-10 victory over Buffalo on Nov. 1 as he rushed for three touchdowns while subbing for starter Steve Slaton. The three touchdowns tied for the most in a single game in 2009. Moats ran for 126 yards on 23 carries and also caught two passes for 25 yards in the victory.
Moats' four rushing touchdowns for the season led Houston.
If Moats' name sounds familiar it might be because of something that happened to him off the field. In March 2009, Moats was detained by a Dallas police officer as he was rushing to the hospital along with other family members to be with his mother-in-law, who was dying. Here is the story form the Dallas Morning News