Hutch ‘doing fine,' Vikings mostly healthy

Guard Steve Hutchinson told Leslie Frazier he is fine after his latest concussion and wants to play at least one more season. Besides Adrian Peterson's knee surgery, the Vikings are mostly healthy three weeks after their last game of 2011.

Leslie Frazier was excited that veteran players like Kevin Williams and Anthony Herrera, who have been regulars with offseason surgeries, will need none this year.

Besides running back Adrian Peterson's surgery to replace the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, one of the bigger question marks remaining from a postseason health standpoint was the ability of Steve Hutchinson to recover from a concussion, one that Frazier hinted might have his six-time Pro Bowl guard considering retirement. Hutchinson missed the final two games of the season and was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 27.

With the regular season three weeks in the rear-view mirror, Frazier said Hutchinson has recovered and wants to continue his NFL career.

"He is doing fine. From what I was told, he is past that concussion that he had," Frazier said after coaching the North squad at Monday's Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Ala. "I know he wants to still play, at least that's what he told me – he still wants to play."

Frazier said besides Peterson, there were no major surgeries to report for the Vikings. Reserve offensive tackle DeMarcus Love had arthroscopic knee surgery, Frazier said, and the coach was glad to hear that safety Husain Abdullah had been cleared by medical experts in Pittsburgh to resume his NFL career after suffering four concussions in the past two seasons.

"Good for him. That's good. Good. Good. Good. I know that that was a concern for all of us," Frazier said.

"He's a good player. He's played well for us. It's unfortunate we lost him this year to the injury, but he's a guy that's a good football player."

Abdullah is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career and the Vikings are looking to make changes on the defensive side of the ball. His history with concussions will factor into the team's decision on whether they pursue a contract extension for him.

"In today's NFL, it's a factor. You can't ignore concussions anymore. It's rare that a guy now has a concussion and doesn't miss a game, it seems," Frazier said. "You have to consider that part of a player's history today. It's just a fact."

Abdullah missed six games in 2011 but only one in 2010, his first year as a starter. His finished last season on injured reserve.

"He just had not recovered (from his second concussion of the season) and we were running out of games," Frazier said. "We needed to get some guys up. We needed some bodies. It took him a while to come out of it."

Williams had been dealing with a knee injury for the first half of the season and wasn't sure if he would need surgery one day after his final game. Frazier said Monday that Williams would avoid surgery.

"Knock on wood, first offseason in a while that he won't have to be cut on for anything, so very, very encouraging that he can come to camp healthy. That would be great for us," he said. "… I was teasing Anthony Herrera, it's a rarity to see him and Kevin not having any offseason surgeries. It's a good thing. Neither one of them has to have an offseason surgery."


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.


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