Adrian Peterson (Hannah Foslien/Getty)
The Vikings will continue to put more work on star running back Adrian Peterson and wait to see how he responds, but they know they can’t accurately replicate game situations in practice.
The Vikings will wait until later in the week, maybe even just before Sunday’s regular-season opener, to decide on Adrian Peterson’s status for Sunday, but there won’t be any additional restrictions placed on him in practice this week.
“We’re going to try to give him as much as we can. We’ve got quite a few plays designed for him in practice and we’ll how he responds and see what he has to say when he comes back,” head coach Leslie Frazier said. “We really want to put him through the paces and see how he responds.”
The Vikings’ most physical workload is expected to be Thursday when they concentrate on third-down and short-yardage situations, but the coaching and medical staffs know they can’t accurately simulate game situations during NFL practices.
“We won’t go to the ground. We won’t tackle below the waist or hit below the waist, none of that,” Frazier said. “… What’s going to happen on Sunday, you can’t simulate that in practice at all.”
After having surgery to repair his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee Dec. 30, Peterson has been making steady progress in his rehabilitation. He started training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list and eventually worked his way into non-contact situations in practice. Last week, they started allowing him to take contact, but nothing to the legs.
That leaves the Vikings relying on how Peterson responds to practices this week, but they know eventually he will have to be put in a game whenever he passes all the practice benchmarks they want to see.
“It will be the same even if we waited a week from now, three weeks from now – it’s hard to simulate a game in practice. It’s virtually impossible,” Frazier said. “It won’t be necessarily a leap of faith. It will be based on what our medical staff says, what are coaches see and what Adrian sees as well. We’ll gather that information and try to make the right decision.”
Frazier said Monday that Peterson would be a “game-time decision” and that he would be limited if he does play. But none of those decisions will be set until he makes it through another week of practice.
Several of the players with sprained ankles were held out of practice Wednesday, including S Andrew Sendejo, LB Marvin Mitchell and WR Jarius Wright. The most serious of those is believed to be Mitchell. CB Marcus Sherels, who also has a sprained ankle, will practice.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.