Earlier today, we told you that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson feels like he's more than ready to go for Sunday's season opener against Jacksonville. But as for that game-time decision that coach Leslie Frazier said he would make on Peterson's playing status? Well, that is no longer the case.
Peterson will likely be given a red or a green light sometime in the next 40 hours or so. Frazier said following this afternoon's practice that "I don't want to be conclusive on Thursday" but then followed by asserting that the Vikings would have all the information they'd need to make a decision on their star running back by Friday night or Saturday morning.
Essentially, what the coaching staff is watching this week is a) how Peterson is functioning within the game plan that the Vikings have prepared for Jacksonville; and b) how he's feeling as his workload and responsibilities spike in practice.
Thursday was the team's last full practice in pads. The Vikings will return to the practice field at Winter Park on Friday morning for a light brush-up session
The internal reviews of Peterson's efforts this week have been glowing.
"Everything we’ve asked him to do thus far, he’s been able to get it done to the point where you believe he’s functioning properly," Frazier said. "But we want to do some things with him tomorrow as well."
If Peterson is cleared for Sunday, Frazier said he'd resist the temptation to give Peterson a significant workload if he's looking healthy and explosive early on against the Jaguars.
"You just can’t forget that he’s missed a lot of football and a lot of offseason and the fact that he’s still coming off a major, major injury," Frazier said. "So we just need to be wise if he got into the game with what we did with him for sure."
In other post-practice news Thursday:
- Mistral Raymond will start alongside safety Harrison Smith at safety on Sunday, sending Jamarca Sanford back into a reserve role.
- Cornerback Antoine Winfield missed Thursday's practice for a personal matter. Winfield will start opposite Chris Cook against Jacksonville and move into the slot in nickel packages. At present, the Vikings haven't established who their No. 3 quarterback is. Brandon Burton is in the mix. So, too, is rookie Josh Robinson. Frazier seemed to hint that A.J. Jefferson, acquired six days ago in a trade with Arizona, may not be active for Sunday's game as he continue to get acclimated to a new system.
- Safety Andrew Sendejo, linebacker Marvin Mitchell and receiver Jarius Wright are all unlikely to play Sunday, all dealing with sprained ankles. Cornerback and return specialist Marcus Sherels is back from his sprained ankle and will be ready to go.