Randy Moss was quiet in his return to New England only until the game ended.
Once the Patriots finished off a 28-18 win over Moss and the Minnesota Vikings in Foxborough, Mass., the sometimes troubled and often outspoken star receiver opened up about the trade that made him a visitor Sunday.
“It was hard for me to come here to play, an up and down thing. I was on a roller coaster all week,” said Moss, who had one catch for 8 yards for Minnesota. “To see these guys running plays and I know what they are doing, I know what type of feeling they have in the locker room.
“I miss every last helmet in that locker room.”
Moss had not spoken to reporters since Oct. 13, taking a $25,000 fine from the NFL for failing to cooperate with the media. The money didn’t sway him to open up last week in the days leading up to his return to New England, which traded him to the Vikings on Oct. 6.
Moss had little impact on the game, and his few accomplishments were overshadowed by the injury to Brett Favre, who was knocked out of the game with a cut to his chin that required stitches in the fourth quarter.
Moss’ biggest contribution was drawing two penalties during a late touchdown drive that got the Vikings back in the game, but cost them Favre.
The Patriots were called for illegal contact on Moss, who was trying to get open for a pass from Favre before the QB took a shot to the chin and did not return.
Moss exchanged a long hug with Patriots coach Bill Belichick and several former teammates before leaving what was his home field less than a month before.
“He’s a Hall of Famer. He made a lot of great contributions for this team,” Belichick said after the game. “But today he was the competition. That’s the way it is in this league.”
Moss caught 50 touchdowns in 52 games during his time with the Patriots, but did draw a few boos as he and the Vikings took the field for their first series.
Running with Payton
LaDainian Tomlinson is now alongside his idol.
The New York Jets running back joined Walter Payton as the only players in NFL history to gain 13,000 yards rushing and 4,000 yards receiving.
Tomlinson, the seventh-leading rusher in league history, reached the milestone in East Rutherford, N.J., against the Green Bay Packers with an 8-yard run in the second quarter of the Jets’ 9-0 loss.
“It’s a great honor for me,” Tomlinson said. “The late, great Walter Payton, he was my favorite player of all-time, the reason I wanted to play the position.”
Payton gained 16,726 yards rushing and 4,538 yards receiving during his Hall of Fame career with the Chicago Bears.
Rams honor Bruce
The Rams honored retired wide receiver Issac Bruce by retiring his number before Sunday’s game against Carolina.
Bruce was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round in 1994 and spent 14 seasons with the team. He holds every major receiving record in Rams history.
The Rams also wore throwback uniforms from the franchise’s Super Bowl-winning season in 2000 to pay tribute to the 37-year-old.