Vikings' Peterson says hamstring injury hampered him mentally

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 25, 2013 - 6:35 AM

Adrian Peterson says he feels better after lacking his burst in recent weeks.

 

Adrian Peterson carried the ball only 23 times total in the Vikings’ past two games. If you don’t think he looked like himself, well, he agrees.

Peterson acknowledged Thursday that nagging hamstring tightness in his right leg has caused him to run hesitantly and without his usual full-bore fury. The 2012 NFL MVP officially was added to the injury list last week, but he said the tightness stemmed from a bruise he suffered about five weeks ago.

“The way that it came on wasn’t like a normal hamstring, like a tweak or anything like that,” he said. “It kind of gradually became sore, kind of climbed up from the bottom of my hamstring up to the middle. I didn’t really know what was wrong, but I’m feeling good now.”

Peterson alerted the Vikings coaching staff and head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman last week that his leg was bothering him.

Peterson missed one practice and had limited participation in the others.

Peterson felt healthy enough to play against the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants, but he lacked his usual burst in attacking the defenses.

“I feel like it was definitely hurting a little bit,” Peterson said. “I feel like it was more in my mind. It’s strange to say that, but I think I was kind of holding myself back, not being able to stretch out and really run. I think I was kind of hindering myself. Now that I’m able to be more relaxed and got a clearer mind, I think I’ll be able to go out there and roll full-speed.”

Peterson rushed for 62 yards on only 10 carries against Carolina on Oct. 13. He managed only 28 yards on 13 carries at New York on Monday, but he doesn’t believe the coaching staff purposely diminished his workload because of his hamstring issues.

“I really didn’t say anything to those guys until like last week,” he said. “Just told them there’s tightness. It’s more so when I run, I was kind of hesitant to stretch out and really stretch the hamstring, thinking that I was going to pull [it]. So that’s how I kind of had it in my mind. But that had nothing to do with the coaches’ decisions.”

Peterson returned to practice Thursday after resting Wednesday. He said he doesn’t believe he needs to sit out a game to let his hamstring heal completely.

“I feel like I can keep playing through it,” he said. “I’ll be OK.”

The Vikings running game has been virtually nonexistent since the team returned from its lone victory, against Pittsburgh in London on Sept. 29. The Vikings have tumbled to 19th in the league in rushing offense; Peterson ranks seventh individually in rushing yards (511).

The offense hit a new low in Monday’s 23-7 loss to the Giants when Peterson carried the ball only 13 times while Josh Freeman attempted 53 passes, despite having only four practices with the first-team offense.

“It got out of whack there,” offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said. “When we were down 23-7, I think that’s when we called 30 of them. It’s definitely not the plan [to pass that much], and it’s tough when games go like that.”

Peterson noted Monday night that the offense needs to become more physical running the ball. On Thursday, Peterson said he was referring to the entire offense, not strictly his offensive line.

In order to get on track this week, the Vikings must do so Sunday night against one of the stingiest rushing defenses in the league. The Packers rank No. 3 in rushing defense and are the only team in the NFL that hasn’t given up 110 yards rushing in a game this season.

Peterson has rushed for 1,541 yards in 13 career games against the Packers, the fourth-most yards against Green Bay in its franchise history.

“One thing that we’re going to do and get back to focusing on is establishing the run,” he said. “Getting those guys up front working and sweating and then be able to become more balanced.”

That means Peterson likely will resume his normal workload. He didn’t hesitate when asked for his ideal number of carries in a game.

“One hundred,” he said.

 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
UNLV 67 FINAL
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

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