A day after the Browns released Ben Tate, the Vikings were awarded the running back off waivers on Wednesday, claiming him as a de facto replacement for Adrian Peterson once it became apparent that Peterson almost certainly wouldn’t return to the field this season. However, Minnesota wasn’t the only club to submit a claim for Tate. According to Field Yates of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Colts and Cardinals also placed claims for the former Texan.
The fact that the Colts also tried to grab Tate isn’t a surprise — the team is in need of help in the backfield after seeing Ahmad Bradshaw go down for the season on Sunday with a fractured ankle. In Bradshaw’s absence, Trent Richardson and Dan Herron are the lead backs in Indianapolis, and neither player has shown he’s capable of carrying a significant load this season.
As for the Cards, their claim is a little more surprising. A pair of beat writers reported earlier in the week that Tate was an unlikely target for Arizona, even if he made it through waivers and became a free agent. The team is currently carrying five running backs too, so depth doesn’t appear to be an issue, though Andre Ellington and Robert Hughes have both been limited in practice this week.
Ultimately, the Vikings won out on Tate due to their subpar record this season. Waiver priority is determined by reverse order of record, so the 4-6 Vikes were ahead of the 6-4 Colts in line. And both teams were well ahead of the 9-1 Cards, who could only claim a player off waivers if each of the other 31 clubs passed.