Vikings vying for playoffs with sore Peterson
One year ago, Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier approached
the postgame news conference and was ready to bask in the glory of
a pre-Christmas victory that snapped a six-game losing streak, even
though star running back Adrian Peterson’s career was in doubt
following a major knee injury.
That was then.
Now, Peterson leads the NFL with 1,898 yards rushing and is only
207 yards away from Eric Dickerson’s single-season record, and is
dealing with an abdominal injury. And he says he’ll be ready to
help Minnesota (9-6) in its bid to earn a playoff spot with a
victory over the Green Bay Packers (11-4) on Sunday.
”To go through all those tough times the last couple years to
get back to where we were in `09, to a point be in the playoff hunt
and be on the doorstep now; I think the best part for us is, if you
really want to prove it, you win this game, you’re in,” linebacker
Chad Greenway said. ”This is everything. All the chips are in now.
We wanted this. We asked for it. Let’s go. Let’s not be scared of
it, because there’s nothing to lose at this point.”
With Peterson leading the way and trying to become the seventh
player in league history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season – he
needs 102 to join the club – Minnesota has made an unlikely
late-season run to control its playoff destiny. The Vikings would
clinch a postseason berth with a win over the NFC North champion
Packers on Sunday. A loss by Minnesota opens several scenarios,
which includes needing losses by the Chicago Bears (9-6), New York
Giants (8-7) and Dallas Cowboys (8-7).
Peterson sat out the final minutes of Sunday’s 23-6 win at
Houston, with coach Leslie Frazier calling it a precautionary
measure. He finished with 86 yards against the Texans, ending his
streak of eight 100-yard games.
”Adrian is a little bit sore with his abdominal muscle,”
Frazier said. ”We’ll have to see how he does this week, how much
work that we’ll give him as we get ready for this ball game, which
will be a huge ball game for our team.”
The Vikings are also expected to have 14-year veteran cornerback
Antoine Winfield available. He suffered a ”small” fracture in his
hand Sunday. He played through the injury, and would wear a soft
cast if he goes against the Packers.
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