Now that Toby Gerhart has signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars to be their starter and fully move out of elite back Adrian Peterson’s shadow, the Minnesota Vikings are in the market for some more depth at the running back position. Matt Asiata, Joe Banyard, and Bradley Randle are currently the three backs behind Peterson on the depth chart, and that’s not an inspiring group of names. Should AP suffer another nagging injury in 2014, then the Vikings could have a rough game or two without him or a competent back up in the backfield.
In his latest mailbag, ESPN NFL Nation’s Ben Goessling was asked if the Vikings would add a backup running back in the draft or choose from one of the remaining free agents. Goessling answered that he believes the Vikings should spend a late-round pick on a back, and that looks like the most likely course of action.
But Goessling also wrote that the Vikings “checked on some veteran players”, and he named Pittsburgh Steelers free agent running back La’Rod Stephens-Howling as one of those players. Stephens-Howling worked closely with current Vikings RBs coach Kirby Wilson, who left the Steelers organization this offseason. Coming off of a torn ACL. Stephens-Howling is nothing more than an RB3, and his most valuable work is on returns, which are already filled up by Cordarrelle Patterson and Marcus Sherels. The Vikings are much better off drafting a late-round back than going after LSH.