Vikings running back Adrian Peterson
Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune
Peterson admits he was uncomfortable against Bengals
- Article by: MASTER TESFATSION and CHIP SCOGGINS
- Star Tribune staff writers
- December 26, 2013 - 11:18 PM
Adrian Peterson admits he was “uncomfortable” in Sunday’s loss at Cincinnati. Groin and foot injuries have limited his ability to perform, but the Vikings running back said he’s hopeful that he will be able to play the season and Metrodome finale Sunday against Detroit.
“I’m feeling OK,” he said. “I’ve felt better. My body has been able to rest a little bit. I’m trying to push to Sunday.
“Right now my mind-set is to be out there and finish strong with my teammates.”
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier removed Peterson from the Cincinnati game early in the second half Sunday because the Bengals had a big lead and Peterson clearly was not himself.
Peterson said the groin injury that’s bothered him for weeks actually gave him more trouble than his right foot sprain.
“The foot was a pain that I already had set in my mind that I was going to have to deal with,” he said. “Sometimes when I was pushing off, I felt it. I got tackled a couple of times and twisted up and the pain kind of stuck around for a minute.
‘‘But that’s something I knew I was going to have to deal with. As far as explosion, that kind of hindered me a little bit. The groin as well. So I felt uncomfortable Sunday.”
The Vikings don’t expect to have Toby Gerhart available Sunday. He re-aggravated a hamstring injury chasing down a fumble return on the opening series against the Bengals.
Jared Allen could play his final game in purple Sunday, but he’s more focused in taking part of the final game at the Metrodome at the moment.
“I’m trying to go out the way I want in this Metrodome and have this last game be something special,” the defensive end said. “Kevin [Williams] and I talked about it earlier this week, saying we just want to let loose and make it a game to remember, from a win standpoint, from our performances, the crowd, the energy level, all of that.”
Allen will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason and did spend time discussing the uncertainty around his career. The 10-year veteran wants to play again next year, but the free agency process will be less stressful.
“When you’re younger you’re trying to figure out all this craziness, and when you look back you realize there’s a plan and it’s better than any kind I could’ve hatched,” Allen said. “So I’m just enjoying the ride, honestly.
‘‘If this ends up being my last game here, then it’s been one of the greatest rides I’ve ever been on. It’s been a great six years.”
Allen has yet to play in a Super Bowl, and he said that will play a big factor into what occurs in the offseason. He’s had four postseason appearances in his career, reaching the conference championship game once with the Vikings in 2009.
“Heck, everybody would love to retire like Ray [Lewis] and [Michael] Strahan, right?” Allen said. “Win a Super Bowl and call it quits. So that’ll be on my mind, and that’ll definitely be a place when you get older, like I said, the later you get in your career that becomes more the main focus of how do you get to a championship.”
Near a record
Cordarrelle Patterson needs just 4 yards to break the franchise kickoff return yards record set by Buster Rhymes in 1985 (1,345).
“I know about it,” Patterson said. “If I worry about that this week they probably won’t kick me the ball, and it’ll make me mad. I try not to worry about it.”
Patterson had four returns last week for 143 yards. He had an NFL record 109-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Week 8 against the Packers.
Birk is back
The Vikings will honor retired center Matt Birk, who will be an honorary captain Sunday.
Birk played 11 seasons for the Vikings (1998-2008) before finishing up with four seasons in Baltimore. He won a Super Bowl in February.
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