Adrian Peterson entered the Vikings locker room Monday afternoon with his right foot in a walking boot. Peterson still had one more medical test later in the day, but the MVP running back seemed relieved that initial exams did not reveal serious damage in his foot.
Peterson said an MRI “came back great,” and showed no torn ligaments. He also said tests ruled out a dreaded Lisfranc injury. Peterson had a CT scan scheduled Monday afternoon to examine the bone. Coach Leslie Frazier also indicated that the team would consult with a foot specialist.
Peterson won’t need surgery on his foot, according to a league source. The team will know more once Peterson is out of the walking boot and is able to run.
“Of course, that [Lisfranc] was one thing that will pop up in your mind,” Peterson said. “That’s one thing I didn’t want to hear, so it feels good to have that cleared out.”
Peterson injured his foot in the second quarter of a 29-26 loss to Baltimore on Sunday. Ravens linebacker Arthur Brown rolled over Peterson’s foot while tackling him on a short catch.
Peterson was carted to the locker room and did not return. The team’s initial diagnosis was a foot sprain.
“Initially you don’t know exactly what’s going on when you’re feeling it,” Peterson said Monday. “That initial contact definitely didn’t feel good. I was kind of worried. But [it] kind of cleared up a little bit after getting the MRI. I’ll see how things play out after the CT scan.”
Peterson said his foot was sore but he didn’t experience much swelling “so that’s another positive thing. But I’m sure it will be sore for a little bit.”
The question now is whether Peterson will play again this season. At 3-9-1, the Vikings were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday. Frazier and the organization must weigh the risk-reward of putting Peterson back on the field with three games remaining.
Peterson already has dealt with hamstring tightness and a nagging groin injury this season. Frazier said the team will consider its options based on Peterson’s medical results.
“Well, you want to know exactly how severe the injury is, and it helps you make that kind of a decision,” Frazier said. “So as we learn more about the severity of it, or the lack of severity, then you can make a clear decision about this ballgame [Sunday against Philadelphia] and future ballgames in this season.”
Peterson’s injury is not the Vikings’ only concern at running back. Backup Toby Gerhart suffered a strained hamstring on his 41-yard touchdown run with 1:27 left. Gerhart was not on the field for the Vikings’ final possession, a three-play drive that ended on Cordarrelle Patterson’s 79-yard touchdown catch and run.
Frazier said the team should have a better idea of Gerhart’s availability for Sunday when the team returns to practice Wednesday. If Peterson remains sidelined and Gerhart doesn’t play or is limited, the Vikings would turn to Matt Asiata, who has no carries this season and only three in his career.
“No matter who’s the running back we’re still going to emphasize the run game,” Frazier said. “That still will be priority No. 1.”
That means Pro Bowl fullback Jerome Felton might even get a shot to carry the ball. Felton has zero carries in 26 games with the Vikings.
“I’ve done it before, and I’m not scared to carry the ball,” Felton said.
Felton had 39 carries for 126 yards over three seasons with the Detroit Lions. He has not carried the ball in a regular-season game since 2011 when he played for the Carolina Panthers, although he ran for a touchdown in last season’s Pro Bowl.
“People always look at me like, ‘Oh, what if Jerome has to carry the ball?’ ” he said. “I’ve done it before. Nothing new to me. So if that’s the case, I’ll be ready.”