Allen, Peterson, Simpson likely to play Sunday

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier knows his team has avoided the major injuries that have occurred around the league, and he was thankful again Friday as it appears Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen and Jerome Simpson will all be ready Sunday when Minnesota hosts the Arizona Cardinals.

The Vikings have benefited from a relatively healthy roster all season as they’ve gotten off to a 4-2 start.

Peterson, the team’s leading rusher, missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with an injured ankle but was a full participant on Friday and is listed as probable for Sunday’s game against Arizona (4-2). Allen, the team’s star defensive end, was limited Wednesday and missed Thursday’s practice with a groin injury but was a full participant on Friday and is probable. Simpson, the downfield receiver the team has been waiting on through suspension and injury, practiced all week after being inactive last week due to a back injury that affects his leg. He is probable.

“I tell you, every time I see these injury reports from around the league, I go, ‘Wow, some key players on teams being lost for the season, not just weeks,'” Frazier said. “So, so far we’ve been very, very blessed in a lot of ways.”

Peterson was given the two days off to rest his injured ankle, which he
twisted early against the Tennessee Titans two weeks ago. He’s played
through the pain in the past two games but said he was more sore this
week.

“It was good to see Adrian back out there today,” Frazier
said. “He did everything and fully participated in everything we had
going on in practice. So that was encouraging.”

Simpson’s return
should provide a boost. He was frustrated about being inactive last
week, believing he was over the back and leg issues that limited him the
week before. But he’s been active during this week’s practice, and
Frazier said he should start.

“Barring any unforeseen
circumstance, he should be ready to go on Sunday,” Frazier said. “Yep,
he had a good week. He would get the start.”

Safety Mistral Raymond returned to practice in a limited role this week for the first time since severely injuring his ankle during the Week 3 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Raymond was expected to miss at least a month, and Frazier said this week he could be ready to return in Week 9 with Minnesota having an extended break following next Thursday’s game against Tampa Bay. Raymond is the only Vikings player out for Sunday.

Backup linebacker Marvin Mitchell (calf) and third-string running back Matt Asiata (knee) are questionable after being limited in Friday’s practice.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield (knee), quarterback Christian Ponder (knee) and safety Robert Blanton (hamstring) are all probable.

Backup defensive end Everson Griffen is expected to return to town Saturday and play in Sunday’s game. Griffen is in his home state of Arizona attending his mother’s funeral.

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