Adrian Peterson (Patrick Smith/Getty)
Adrian Peterson said he has to “suck some of the pain up” in order to try to play, but he and Toby Gerhart headline an extensive list of Vikings injuries.
Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart are both listed as questionable for the Minnesota Vikings after the top two running backs on the run-first team both suffered injuries last Sunday.
Peterson suffered a right mid-foot sprain in the second quarter and Gerhart suffered a hamstring strain in the fourth quarter.
Peterson and Gerhart both went through the individual portion of practice, catching passes while jogging routes, and were listed as limited on the injury report. Peterson appeared to be laboring at times but said he was confident he could play.
“I feel pretty confident. I feel pretty good. I’m excited I feel the way I do, based off the injury and the time I’ve had to kind of rejuvenate the body and rehab the foot to get the strength back,” he said.
Peterson declined to say if he could play if the game were on Friday, but said another two days of healing should help. Planting on the foot was the most troubling part, the reigning NFL MVP said.
“I’ve been kind of testing it out as far as putting weight on it all week. It’s pain there, but it’s at the point where you have to suck some of the pain up,” Peterson said. “As far as me trying to put pressure on it, the pain that I do feel I’m able to take that. It’s a different force when you’re out there running and planting and really being explosive.”
If he can’t go, it would be the first game Peterson has missed this year, despite dealing with groin, foot and hamstring injuries.
He has been questionable two other times with the groin injury, against the Ravens last Sunday and against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 24.
Head coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson’s “gait was good” at Friday’s practice.
“It was impressive when you consider the early diagnosis. So he’s unique, very unique,” Frazier said.
“Like our medical people mentioned to me on Monday, he’s so different than everybody else when it comes to recovering from injuries. We’ve been in situations in the past where you thought he wouldn’t make it and then he made it. It was always in the back of my mind there was a chance he’d make it. He’s amazing.”
Said Gehart of Peterson: “He’s Superman. As long as there’s not any kryptonite I think he’ll be alright.”
The medical staff, coaching staff and Peterson will talk about his progress on Saturday and he could be a game-time decision.
But even if he doesn’t play Sunday, Peterson said there are no thoughts in his mind about shutting it down for the rest of the season.
“Not at all, man. That’s just not my mentality, leaving these guys out to dry, just because, what the heck, my passion for the game – I love the game too much to sit out just because,” he said. “If I’m out, you’re going to know that he can’t go.”
Frazier said he will always listen to an injured player and take into consideration what the player has to say. Peterson has said in the past that he lobbies to play.
“He doesn’t like to sit. He believes he’s more than capable of getting out there and he’ll let you know, but we’ll see what happens,” Frazier said.
Gerhart said he will continue to get treatment and take his hamstring injury day by day.
“It was the first day to actually get on the field and move around,” he said. “We’ve done stuff in the training room and underwater treadmill stuff, but to get out there and move around it felt pretty good.”
The Vikings will have their depth tested in the secondary, too.
CB Josh Robinson was ruled out with a chest injury, CB Xavier Rhodes is doubtful with a sprained ankle and CB Chris Cook was added to the injury report Friday with a knee injury.
Robinson might be ready to return to practice next week, but it will be a four-game stretch that he has missed. Rhodes was injured Sunday and on crutches earlier in the week, but he, too, isn’t expected to play Sunday. Cook was injured Friday.
If all of them can’t play, it would leave Marcus Sherels and safety Robert Blanton as the only Vikings with much experience at cornerback. The Vikings also have cornerback Shaun Prater, who joined the team on Oct. 22, on the active roster, but he hasn’t played a down on defense yet.
TE John Carlson (concussion) was ruled out and G Brandon Fusco (knee) is doubtful. Neither of them have practiced all week.
Carlson, working his way back from a concussion, attended practices on Thursday and Friday, but with a history of concussions, won’t play Sunday.
Safety Harrison Smith is expected to be activated from injured reserve/designated for return list on Saturday. He said on Friday there was no doubt in his mind he would be able to play.
Vikings fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped gifts to the to Mall of America Field before Sunday’s game. The Vikings are teaming up with The Salvation Army to brighten the holiday season for local kids. At the gates, Salvation Army volunteers will be collecting toys and cash donations from 10 a.m. to noon for the annual Minnesota Vikings Toy Drive.
Ravens LB Courtney Upshaw was fined $15,750 for a hit on Vikings QB Matt Cassel last week.
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.