EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings went back to work Wednesday, preparing for Sunday’s win-and-in playoff scenario against the Green Bay Packers in the regular-season finale, but were without running back Adrian Peterson, defensive end Jared Allen and cornerback Antoine Winfield.
Peterson, who is 102 yards away from being just the seventh player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season and 208 yards from breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season record of 2,105, was held out of practice with lingering abdominal soreness. Peterson isn’t expected to miss Sunday’s game against Green Bay (11-4) as he tries to break the record and lead Minnesota into the playoffs.
Jared Allen, whose 10 sacks leads the Vikings (9-6), was suffering from an illness. Antoine Winfield practiced on a limited basis with a broken bone in his right hand. Winfield had a cast on his hand from a break he said he suffered in the first quarter of last Sunday’s win at Houston. Winfield said he won’t miss Sunday’s game because of the injury. The Vikings will earn the final Wild Card spot with a win against the Packers. A loss means Minnesota will have to hope for help with losses by the Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.
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“It feels pretty good right now,” Winfield said. “The pain I’ll tolerate; just kind of hard to get my grip. So, working on that, spend a couple more days and I’ll be good.”
Winfield said he won’t have to play with a cast. He will wear a pad underneath his glove to alleviate any aggravation from contact.
Defensive end Brian Robison practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, trying to return after missing last week’s game with an AC sprain in his right shoulder.
“I’m just going with what they say and try to get it better every day,” Robison said. “It’s not bad right now. I’ve got the range of motion. It’s just about trying to get the strength back, seeing how far I can push it I guess.”
Peterson and Winfield have been rested occasionally over the past several weeks anyway with Peterson coming off knee surgery and Winfield a 14-year veteran the Vikings are trying to keep healthy and rested down the stretch.
Tight end added to practice squad: Minnesota announced it signed tight end Chase Ford to the practice squad on Wednesday. Ford, undrafted as a rookie this year out of Miami, was signed after the draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. The 6-foot-6, 258-pound Ford also spent time with the Dallas Cowboys, but hasn’t played appeared in an NFL game.
The Vikings lost tight end Allen Reisner and offensive lineman Mark Asper to the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this week. Both were cut before Sunday’s game to make room for the return of cornerback Chris Cook from injured reserve and the promotion of defensive lineman George Johnson to the active roster from the practice squad. Ford filled the open spot on the practice squad.