Teammates want to keep 'All Day' fresh for all season

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 25, 2007 - 12:00 AM

The Vikings have quickly found out why Adrian Peterson long ago earned the nickname "All Day." In three games, the rookie running back has a team-leading 271 rushing yards on 64 carries and also has caught eight passes for 160 yards.

The Vikings have quickly found out why Adrian Peterson long ago earned the nickname "All Day." In three games, the rookie running back has a team-leading 271 rushing yards on 64 carries and also has caught eight passes for 160 yards.

His 431 yards from scrimmage are a team record for the first three games of a season and rank fourth in the NFL. Of the leading rushers on the 32 NFL teams through Sunday, only five had more combined rushing and receiving touches than Peterson.

But while the seventh overall pick in last April's draft already has become a go-to-guy, Peterson's teammates caution that they must start giving him some help.

"He's an unbelievable guy, but he can't keep doing it all," quarterback Kelly Holcomb said. "We have to step up in the passing game. He's pretty incredible watching him, but he can't last like that either. ... I know he's a young guy and he's got a great physique, but it's hard to keep doing that."

Peterson, who rushed for 102 yards on 25 carries in Sunday's 13-10 loss at Kansas City, feels his workload isn't an issue.

"I just prepared myself to come out and contribute in any way," he said. "That's catching the ball and running the ball also. I prepared myself, and I'm ready to take that on."

Peterson will get a breather when veteran running back Chester Taylor returns from the hip injury that has kept him out the past two games. But it remains to be seen when that will happen. Taylor's status for Sunday's game against Green Bay remains uncertain.

Right now, Peterson is making the most of his opportunity as a solo act. He already has two 100-yard rushing games, putting him within one of the rookie team record established by Chuck Foreman in 1973.

Told of Holcomb's comments and asked what his body might be telling him right now after taking so many hits, Peterson smiled and said, "My body is telling me, 'Bring it on.' I'm feeling good."

Jackson or Holcomb?

Coach Brad Childress said Monday it's "still up in the air" whether Tarvaris Jackson will be able to start at quarterback Sunday against Green Bay. Jackson did not play against the Chiefs because of a groin strain; if the Vikings rest Jackson again Sunday, it would give him three weeks off because the team has a bye after the Packers game.

Childress said if Jackson doesn't play that Holcomb will get the start again.

Hot topic

The Vikings' decision not to use Peterson on the final drive of Sunday's loss continued to be a much-discussed issue Monday. Childress said after the game that he used veteran Mewelde Moore instead of Peterson "because protection-wise we know exactly where [Moore is] at and we weren't calling for a lot of runs."

The feeling from some was that Peterson's play-making ability would have made him a logical candidate to be on the field. Asked about the issue again Monday, Childress elaborated.

"It's not that we don't think he can't pass block, because he had a great pickup on one of their blitzes earlier in that football game," he said. "It's just a matter of the volume of everything and people that have looked at it more. Mewelde has looked at the pass protections more. They stood a chance to be giving you an exotic blitz there toward the end. I want a guy that has seen it more times than Adrian."


• The Vikings worked out linebacker William Kershaw on Monday. Kershaw, who played collegiately at Maryland, was waived by Kansas City on Sept. 18.


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