Another step for Peterson
For the first time since returning to practice, running back Adrian Peterson was allowed to absorb some contact Monday.
“Today is another step in the process,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said of the decision to let defenders hit Peterson, but only above the waist, and not into the ground. Frazier said Peterson responded well, looked good, was able to move and change direction. The next step is for Frazier to talk to Peterson to see how he felt after practice, and then seeing how sore Peterson's surgically-repaired knee is tomorrow morning.
“We told our defense to hit him a little bit, see how he responded,” Frazier said. “I told (running backs coach) James Saxon to tell them they will be contacting (Peterson) today.’’
Apparently it got Peterson pretty fired up. “He told James Saxon, he said, ‘Coach, you better tell those defenders to buckle up,’ ‘’ Frazier said. “I knew it would get him fired up. He did pretty good. We’ll see how he feels.’’
It was decided last week that Peterson would not appear in a preseason game. The goal has been for him to be ready on opening day. But not even Frazier knows exactly what that role will be. “I want to see what he has to say after today,” Frazier said. “Then we need to go through a whole week with him in the game plan to see how he responds.”
Guard Geoff Schwartz took part in practice for the first time since having hernia surgery Aug. 7. He didn’t take full part, only participating in offensive line drills. Still, Schwartz returned a little ahead of schedule; Frazier said Sunday he might start practicing next week.
Now there is a chance Schwartz could take full part in practice next week and be available for opening day.
--Frazier said tight end John Carlson moved better Monday, his second day back at practice since recovering from a knee injury. “He feels more comfortable with the brace now,” Frazier said. “I think he’ll be OK.”
--With Marcus Sherels nursing a sprained ankle, Reggie Jones could see some work as a punt returner Thursday in Houston. Backup running back Jordan Todman also worked out at the position, but probably won’t return a punt in the game. But he could get a kickoff return or two, Frazier said.