Sunday marks Adrian Peterson's 100th career game and the MVP running back said he expects to play versus the Packers despite dealing with a nagging groin injury.
Peterson acknowledged that he lacks his usual explosiveness but he said he's not frustrated by it. He was asked how he would react if Coach Leslie Frazier or head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman encouraged him to miss a game in order to rest his body.
"I'd look at them crazy," he said. "I'd be like, 'Well, I know my body and I'm not going to do anything to hurt myself. Just trust me.'"
Peterson said he refuses to sit because he hasn't given up on this season even though his team is 2-8.
"To be honest with you, in my eyes, I don't know how you all think, but I still think we've got a chance," he said. "Call me crazy. But I still feel like we have an opportunity. That's the way I'm going to approach this week and the rest of the season."
Peterson was asked what he's seen to make him feel that way.
"The guys that are in this locker room," he said. "I feel like I believe in every guy in here, and I believe in Christian [Ponder]. I believe that he can turn it on and get into a run. I have faith in the guys in this locker room. When I look in these guys’ eyes, when I’m on the field with them, they’re playing their hearts out. They’re out there competing. I don’t see guys quitting. I probably wouldn’t have that sense if I looked around the locker room or when we played and seen guys not out there competing or guys giving up. That’s not what I see. So, with that, you still have a chance. I choose to focus on that opportunity and that chance that we have and believing in this guys in this locker room and really don’t care what everyone else on the outside thinks about it."
Smith ready to return
Safety Harrison Smith said he expects to return to practice next week and he hopes to play in the final three games.
Smith was placed on injured reserve/designed to return after suffering a turf toe injury. Smith chose to rest and rehab his left foot instead of having surgery. Smith said he is scheduled to have another MRI soon to confirm that his foot is making adequate progress.
Smith can't officially practice until next week so he's been doing a lot of individual conditioning.
"It’s amazing how out of shape you can get in a few weeks," he said. "So I’m just getting my cardio back up and making sure that I can make all the movements I need.’’
Smith is not eligible to play in a game until the Philadelphia game Dec. 15. With the Vikings at 2-8, he was asked if he's considered taking the rest of the season to recover.
"No," he said, and then named the Vikings' final three opponents for emphasis.
Smith will have two weeks of practice to get his stamina back.
"Even when we come in for training camp, you can be in the best shape you think you can be in and it’s still not football shape," he said.