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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