NEW ORLEANS - Adrian Peterson has a good chance to be the third NFL Most Valuable Player in Vikings history, following Alan Page (1971) and Fran Tarkenton (1975).
The NFL awards ceremony is Saturday night in New Orleans (8 p.m., Ch. 4). Peterson, who came off major knee surgery and got within 8 yards of the NFL's single-season rushing record, is also a leading candidate for Comeback Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. His competition in both categories is probably Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, who missed the 2011 season because of neck surgery, then led the Broncos into the playoffs in 2012.
There are 16 major awards to be handed out.
• Vikings coach Leslie Frazier was honored at the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation Awards ceremony on Thursday. The Pollard Group promotes the causes of minority coaches. Frazier and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis were recipients of the Johnnie L. Cochran Salute to Excellence Awards.Goodell stands ground
Roger Goodell arrived in enemy territory and stood his ground.
Restaurants and bars are plastered with signs that suggest service to Commissioner Roger Goodell would be refused, nearly a year after the league announced discipline in response to a bounty system perpetrated by the New Orleans Saints. Coach Sean Payton was suspended for the season, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was named as the system's mastermind, and other suspensions were issued, although some were later lifted.
Goodell joked about New Orleans' reaction to his arrival, but he emphasized that a bounty system was indeed in place -- and that discipline was necessary.
"I think the message is incredibly clear, and I don't believe that bounties will be part of football going forward," he said.
Goodell also took a shot at comments made a day earlier by DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL players union.
Smith highlighted player safety in his own news conference and shared survey results that suggested that 78 percent of NFL players don't trust their team's medical staff. Goodell said he was "disappointed" in the survey's findings but also seemed surprised that the results weren't brought up in a four-hour meeting last week.