Of the many disconcerting issues facing the 2013 Minnesota Vikings, one might be something the team worried about the least before the season started: Adrian Peterson's rushing output.
Hey, we're not going to start piling on AP, but it's true that he has yet to find a groove - he hasn't broken 100 yards in three games, and has 281 yards on 69 carries. Heck, we though he might get 281 yards in his first game.
So enter Jerome Felton, the fullback who went to the Pro Bowl last year simply because he laid out some blockers for Peterson. He is returning after serving a three-game suspension for a DUI two years ago.
Will it matter?
The Vikings moved undrafted rookie fullback Zach Line to injured reserve, and, as the Star Tribune reports, Line, a surprise in training camp and the preseason, where he caught two touchdown passes, helped Rhett Ellison fill in for Felton during the first two games.
Still, in the era of track-meet style NFL play, dos a fullback matter that much? Let's be charitable and say that the Vikings have a "throwback" offense, one where indeed a good blocking back might make a difference, circa 1952.
"Obviously it's not just me coming back that's going to make the running game do what it needs to do, but I definitely think I can help and contribute," Felton tells ESPN.
Felton says he thinks AP is pretty much on track from where he was this point last season - but that he might have to get by with a little help from his blocking friends.
"I think there's some things I bring to the game," he says. "It's on me from a physical standpoint to be ready to go. There's no easing-in period now."