Tearful Vikings Mourn Popular Teammate

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Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss broke down sobbing at an emotional press conference Wednesday as he and his teammates and coaches discussed the death of star tackle Korey Stringer.

Moss was among the players and coaches who kept a hospital vigil Tuesday night while doctors tried to revive the 27-year-old Stringer, who collapsed from heat stroke at training camp.

Stringer never regained consciousness and his heart failed at 1:50 a.m. CDT on Wednesday.

"It’s like he was here today, gone tomorrow," Moss said, sobbing.

"The only thing I've been thinking about for the last 24 hours is, if he does die, what happens to his son?" Moss said, referring to Stringer's 3-year-old son, Kodie.

"I don't even know how and when I'm going to get over this, because it's hard," Moss said. "There's a lot of people in America that's feeling our pain, throughout the world, and we know Korey Stringer, Number 77, is going to be missed."

Head coach Dennis Green said the Vikings are focusing "totally on Korey and his family. Fans around the country know we have lost a young man, 27 years old, and we are going to miss him."

Green praised Stringer's willingness to give back to young people. "That’s what made him a complete man," Green said.

Wide receiver Cris Carter said those who stayed with Stringer throughout the night knew the situation was critical, but they did not think he was going to die.

"This is extremely difficult for Korey’s family and our football family," Carter said.

"We really don’t understand. We're just shocked.... There's nothing you go through in life that prepares you for something like this."

Carter would not comment on questions about the temperature during the practice.

Temperatures were in the 90s throughout the day Tuesday, but the heat index reached 110 degrees with humidity.

"It’s hot everywhere, that’s why they call it the dog days of summer," Carter said.

He said Stringer was one of the most popular players on the team, "a true pro’s pro who was trying to get better."

Carter said Stringer was at his lowest weight — 335 pounds — since his days at Ohio State.

Green said his star tackle was a dependable player. "You could always count on Korey."