Banged-up Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder expected to play

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Quarterback Christian Ponder

practiced all week in a limited role while recovering from a dislocated

shoulder, but the Minnesota Vikings were without MVP running back Adrian

Peterson the past two days.

Peterson, the league’s fourth-leading rusher with 786 yards,

is dealing with a groin injury and was held out of practice Thursday and

Friday, but coach Leslie Frazier said he should be ready Sunday when Minnesota

(2-7) at Seattle (9-1).

“More managing, not wanting to over-extend him,”

Frazier said of Peterson missing practice. “He has a good feel for what

we’re doing game plan-wise. He should be fine when we get to Sunday.”

Frazier wasn’t as declarative on Ponder as his starting

quarterback.

Ponder is in line to start Sunday, the only concern being

his recovery from a dislocated left, non-throwing shoulder in last week’s win

against Washington. Ponder took the first-team reps during the portion of

practice open to the media all week, but Frazier said he wanted to make sure

how Ponder felt on Saturday before formally announcing Ponder as the starter.

“The way he moved around today, he looked pretty

good,” Frazier said of Ponder. “Hopefully he’ll wake up tomorrow

without any residual effects, negative effects, from today’s workload we gave

him. But you never know.”

If deemed healthy, Ponder would start with either Matt

Cassel or Josh Freeman as the backup. Frazier didn’t announce who would back up

Ponder and said the team will talk about keeping all three quarterbacks active

for Sunday’s game.

Peterson and Ponder were both listed as probable on

Minnesota’s injury report. Tight end Kyle Rudolph, out four to six weeks with a

broken foot, and defensive tackle Letroy Guion (chest) were listed as out for

Sunday’s game. Running back Matt Asiata (shoulder) is doubtful. Defensive

tackle Fred Evans (knee) and tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) are questionable.

In addition to Peterson, Rudolph and Guion didn’t practice

Friday. Evans, Asiata, Ellison, guard Charlie Johnson (elbow/toe) and receiver

Greg Jennings (Achilles) were limited Friday.

Jennings, who leads the team with 34 catches, showed up for

the first time on the injury report Thursday and is listed as probable.

“He’s pretty sore and just backed off the work

today,” Frazier said of Jennings. “Give him another day to get ready

for Sunday. … No (concern), he’ll be ready to go.”

Ponder, who would be making his fourth straight start, will

wear a harness during the game to help keep the shoulder in place and said he

would be surprised if he wasn’t ready to play on Sunday.

“My expectation is that I’m feeling good and I’ll be

ready to go,” Ponder said. “But again that’s coach’s call and I’m

hoping it’s me.”

Ponder said he hasn’t had any issues in practice and the

team has tried to test his strength to see if he’ll be able to withstand the

pain.

“Not really until I take a hit,” Ponder said of

knowing how he will feel. “They were poking around on it this morning. And

there wasn’t too much pain. There was a little discomfort but it wasn’t too

bad.”

Ponder hopes to play to build off the success against

Washington. He said he’s felt better each game and that he turned a corner when

he was 17-of-21 passing for 174 yards, two touchdowns and an interception

before dislocating his shoulder on a dive to the end zone.

“The biggest thing for us we were converting on third

downs,” Ponder said. “It helped me get into a rhythm and we were

getting the ball out fast and also trying to get the ball down field. I was

making decisions quickly, going through the reads quickly, which was good;

looking forward to doing that again this weekend.”

Evans could return after missing the past two games, but

Guion would miss his second straight game. With Evans likely to be limited and

without Guion, Kevin Williams will see more action at nose tackle this week.

“I think we’ll still get Kevin in there some at the

nose,” Frazier said. “Fred coming off an injury, not sure how many

snaps we can actually give him. So we still have a plan to get Kevin in there

at times.”

Simpson will play, unsure of start: Frazier hasn’t

announced whether receiver Jerome Simpson will start Sunday after being

arrested last weekend and charged Wednesday with two counts of DWI. Frazier has

said Simpson will travel with the team and play, but rookie Cordarrelle

Patterson could get his first career start if the team decides to discipline

Simpson by not starting him.

Frazier said the team is taking instruction from the NFL on

how to deal with Simpson and wasn’t sure about Simpson’s status past this week.

“Yeah, they’ve kind of giving us some information as to

how to proceed for this week, and we’ll learn more when we come back next

week,” Frazier said. “So, we have an idea what we can and can’t do

this week.”

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