Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC North [Print without images]

Friday, December 3, 2010
Tracking: Jahvid Best vs. Toby Gerhart, et al

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We started tracking the Jahvid Best-Toby Gerhart rivalry in Week 2 after Best broke out with 232 all-purpose yards in the Detroit Lions' near-upset of the Philadelphia Eagles. Not much happened for either tailback over the next two months, at least not until Gerhart replaced an injured Adrian Peterson and carried 22 times last Sunday in the Minnesota Vikings' 17-13 victory over the Washington Redskins.

So now is as good of a time as any to bring the numbers up to date. Here you go:


To review, the Lions and Vikings both entered the April draft in need of a running back. In a rare intra-division trade, the Vikings sent their No. 30 overall pick to the Lions in exchange for the No. 34 overall pick and a seventh-rounder (No. 214 overall). The teams also swapped fourth-round picks, with the Vikings moving up to No. 100 overall and the Lions moving back to No. 128 overall.

The Lions took Best at No. 30, while the Vikings drafted Gerhart at No. 51 overall. It's in some ways an apples-to-oranges comparison because Gerhart wasn't a part of the deal. But I thought it was worth tracking how each running back performed and if the Vikings got enough out of the rest of the deal to justify passing on the most explosive Best.

As it's turned out, Best has been a relative non-factor because of multiple turf toe injuries. He hasn't had a run longer than 20 yards, a reception longer than 22 yards or a touchdown of any distance since the Eagles game.

Gerhart hadn't received much playing time until Peterson's injury, but it's possible he'll be on the field more often Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. As for the rest of the Vikings' loot: Cornerback Chris Cook has been limited because of multiple knee injuries and has struggled in most of the six games he has played. Defensive end Everson Griffen has played as a reserve in six games, while tight end Mickey Shuler was lost via waivers when the Vikings tried to sneak him on to their practice squad.