Adrian Peterson (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY)
The Vikings continue to give Adrian Peterson his needed recovery time as he deals with a groin injury and yet leads the NFL in rushing. He’s been playing through a couple injuries this year and carried for a career-record 35 times Sunday.
After being given Wednesday and Thursday off to rest his groin injury, Adrian Peterson is expected to return to practice Friday.
Peterson has missed eight practices this season because of groin and hamstring injuries and been limited three more times, yet he still leads the league with 1,208 yards rushing, earning 120 yards more than LeSean McCoy in second place.
“It just tells you how amazing he is. Not only does he play, he plays extremely well,” head coach Leslie Frazier said. “… He’s a special guy. His body is definitely unique. He’s different in a lot of ways.”
Despite the injury, Peterson had a career-high 35 carries last Sunday against the Chicago Bears, a number that is a bit too high for offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s preference.
“I do (have concerns). Adrian doesn’t. Adrian, like he said, would prefer 50 or 55, but I do have a concern,” Musgrave said. “I don’t want to go over and beyond what’s smart with him.”
Musgrave said the Vikings had planned to get Toby Gerhart more involved Sunday than what ended up happening. Gerhart carried only twice.
With 104 rushing yards on Sunday, Peterson would surpass Emmitt Smith for fourth-most rushing yards in a player’s first seven seasons. Peterson has 10,057 with Smith having 10,160 through his first seven seasons. Barry Sanders, with 10,172 yards, is also in Peterson’s sights this week. Sanders and Smith are both already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In his only career meeting against the Ravens, Peterson rushed for 143 yards. In two games vs. AFC opponents (Cleveland and Pittsburgh) in 2013, Peterson has rushed for 228 yards (114 per game) and three TDs.
PONDER LIKELY INACTIVE SUNDAY
Christian Ponder still hasn’t passes his NFL-mandated post-concussion tests and isn’t likely to be active on Sunday. He has missed the major days of installation in preparation for the Ravens.
Matt Cassel will start with Josh Freeman as the backup if Ponder is, indeed, inactive.
WORKOUTS AND SIGNINGS
The Vikings worked out several players this week, including Canadian Football League standout pass rusher Alex Hall, according to the National Football Post. Hall played for the Sasketchewan Roughrigers and Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL.
He has spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants.
The Vikings also worked out wide receivers Dontrelle Inman, Chris Matthews and Nick Moore, along with defensive tackle Ted Laurent.
This week has also been fairly heavy on former Vikings making news around the NFL.
The Tennessee Titans signed former Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe after working out six tight ends earlier this week.
The Jets signed former Vikings RB/WR Darius Reynaud and the Buffalo Bills signed OT Jamaal Johnson-Webb to their practice squad. Johnson-Webb spent two weeks on the Vikings practice squad in November.
Former Vikings TE Allen Reisner returned to practice this week for the Jacksonville Jaguars but remains on the injured reserve/designated for return list.
In addition to Peterson and Ponder, LB Larry Dean (knee), CB Josh Robinson (chest) and TE Kyle Rudolph (foot) didn’t practice Thursday. Earlier this week, the Vikings were hoping Rudolph might make it back on the practice field this week, but Rudolph hasn’t made as much progress with his foot injury as they had hoped.
S Jamarca Sanford (ankle) returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out Wednesday. DE Jared Allen (finger) and LB Chad Greenway (wrist) remained limited, and DT Sharrif Floyd left practice with an illness.
For the Ravens, LB Elvis Dumervil (ankle), S Brynden Trawick (ankle) and CB Asa Jackson (thigh) didn’t practice. DE Chris Canty (shoulder), WR Brandon Stokley (knee) and CB Lardarius Webb (abdomen) were limited while CB Jimmy Smith (concussion) went from limited Wednesday to a full participant Thursday.
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.