'The Hyphen' Stephens-Howling still defying odds

BOB BAUM AP Sports Writer Published:

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- LaRod Stephens-Howling doesn't mind if fans call him "The Hyphen." He realizes his real name is a bit cumbersome. He has trouble with it himself.

There's never enough room on documents, he says, to sign his name. The back of his jersey is a bit crowded with letters, too.

But fans of the Arizona Cardinals, and now the Minnesota Vikings, know this guy is no pint-sized pushover. Against the Vikings last Sunday, he was a power back in miniature, scampering and sometimes plowing his way to a career-best 104 yards in 20 carries and catching five passes for another 45 yards in the Cardinals' 21-14 loss.

It's another triumph for the 5-foot-7 Stephens-Howling in a life of overcoming all those who told him he was just too small for football.

___

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL