Who's best running back? Peterson won't go there

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG and DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: October 5, 2012 - 6:46 AM

If there's one thing Adrian Peterson doesn't like to do, it's talking about other running backs and how he thinks he compares to them.

"I feel like I'm the best and I practice to be the best," the Vikings running back said Thursday. "So focusing on other guys is not going to help me."

Strangely under the radar this week is the second career meeting between Peterson and Titans running back Chris Johnson. In 2009, when Johnson ran for 2,006 yards, Peterson was routinely asked whether he or Johnson was the best back in the league. Peterson didn't like that question three years ago, and he wasn't into comparing himself and Johnson on Thursday.

Asked about playing a team that has a comparable back to him, Peterson said, "Yeah, he is pretty good. I won't elaborate into that too much. But it feels good [to play him]. I can say that, as far as competition as an offense."

Johnson has only 186 yards rushing, a 3.2-yard average, but ran for 141 yards on 25 carries (5.6) in last week's loss to Houston.

Peterson has 332 yards rushing, good for 10th in the league, a 4.2-yard average and two touchdowns.

In their only career meeting -- a 30-17 Titans win at Tennessee on Sept. 28, 2008 -- Peterson ran for 80 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. Johnson ran for 61 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.

Henderson returns

Weak-side linebacker Erin Henderson, who missed the past two games because of a concussion, made it through the entire practice Thursday.

"We're optimistic about him playing," said coach Leslie Frazier. "We'll see how he does tomorrow when he wakes up to make sure he's still fine."

Henderson won't step back into his role as middle linebacker in the nickel defense. Jasper Brinkley, the middle linebacker in the base defense, will continue in that role after playing it well in Henderson's absence. Frazier said coaches will re-evaluate Henderson's role in the nickel once he's had a chance to get back up to game speed.

Henderson's backup, Marvin Mitchell, strained a calf during special teams drills and will be sent for a magnetic resonance imaging exam. If neither Henderson nor Mitchell can play, Frazier said either Tyrone McKenzie or rookie Audie Cole would start.

In other injury news:

• Defensive end Jared Allen (groin) missed practice but is expected to return Friday.

• Receiver Michael Jenkins (ribs) was limited after missing Wednesday's practice.

• Quarterback Christian Ponder (knee) was fine.

Aiming for perfect

Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer wasn't pleased with the 46-yard field goal attempt that rookie Blair Walsh pulled left with 13:15 to play in last Sunday's game at Detroit. If Walsh had made that kick, the Vikings would have led 23-6 with their defense playing well. Instead, the miss gave Detroit hope.

"I called him over after that play," Priefer said. "I wasn't mad. Because he's nine of 10 [on field-goal attempts]. You can't get mad at what he's done for us this year. And he kicked off so well and really helped our team win that game. But I said, 'Do you realize the situation?' He had already thought about it.

"Now you're up three scores with 10 minutes to go in the game. The way our defense was playing, I just felt good about us winning that game at that point. But then you're [only] up 14. And that's a whole different deal."

Priefer said Walsh got a little too close to the ball on the miss.

Etc.

• Percy Harvin, who had a 105-yard kickoff return against Detroit on Sunday for a touchdown, has been named the NFC's special teams player of the month. Harvin leads the NFL with a 38.3-yard kick return average.

  • related content

  • Johnson bounces back; defense struggles

    Thursday October 4, 2012

    "Behind Enemy Lines" is a Thursday post on the Access Vikings blog. In advance of Sunday's Vikings-Titans game, Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune interviewed Jim Wyatt, the Titans beat...

  • VikesCentric: Brinkley, Titans QBs and the dome

    Friday October 5, 2012

    The Friday 3-and-out offers three quick-hitting opinions about the state of the Purple, then gets you on your way to your weekend preparations for the big game.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close