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Adrian Peterson back at practice, likely to play Sunday

After missing last week's game, Adrian Peterson was back on the practice field Wednesday.

Adrian Peterson missed Sunday's game against the Eagles with a sprained foot.

Brace Hemmelgarn / USA TODAY Sports

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Adrian Peterson wasn't happy about missing last week's game with a sprained foot.

One game is all Peterson is likely to miss.

Peterson, the league's second-leading rusher with 1,221 yards, returned to practice for the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday and is expected to be in the lineup when Minnesota travels to Cincinnati this weekend to face the Bengals' fifth-ranked run defense.

"He's feeling better," coach Leslie Frazier said. "So today he'll get a chance to test things out a little bit. But he's feeling better."

The Vikings were without Peterson and backup Toby Gerhart on Sunday, but third-string running back Matt Asiata stepped in with 30 carries for 51 yards and three touchdowns in Minnesota's 48-30 win against the Philadelphia Eagles. Without Peterson, quarterback Matt Cassel threw for 382 yards, the most by a Vikings quarterback since Brett Favre in 2010.

Peterson was held out while he was dealing with a sprained foot, but wanted to play in against Philly. Frazier made the decision to sit Peterson, who insisted he could play. But Minnesota wanted to be careful with its franchise running back.

If Peterson is healthy enough to play, Frazier won't hold him back this week.

"Well in the case of the running back position it's not a hard decision," Frazier said of balancing how the team played last week versus letting players heal properly. "If Adrian is ready to go, it's a pretty easy decision. Some of the others might be a little bit challenging depending on how the other guy was playing prior to his injury. But you don't like to see a guy lose his position because of injury. You like for it happen because he got beat out. But sometimes when a guy plays so well that he grabs your eye it's hard to ignore that when you're trying to win games."

Peterson hasn't practiced on a Wednesday in several weeks because he was also dealing with a groin injury. He had run for 357 yards in two games before being spraining his foot on Dec. 8 when he was held to seven carries and 13 yards.

"You sound just like Adrian saying that," Frazier joked when asked about Peterson doing well without practice on Wednesdays and Thursdays. "But, no, if he's healthy we'd like for him to get some work. We think that helps with the timing and helps the offensive line as well."

Gerhart was also back at practice Wednesday from a hamstring injury. Tight end John Carlson passed his concussion testing and returned.

The biggest concern, health-wise, for Frazier is the status of rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who still hasn't been able to practice since spraining his ankle on Dec. 8.

"We'll probably hold him out to see if we get him back tomorrow," Frazier said of Rhodes.


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