Scary: Peterson still not 100 percent

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD and DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: October 23, 2012 - 8:59 PM

After Friday's practice, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier asked Adrian Peterson if the running back was feeling good. The Vikings had seen some things they thought they could get done with the running game against Arizona.

"I was like, 'Yeah, I'd be ready to roll,'" Peterson said Tuesday. "I thought I had more carries than 23. Kinda felt like it. But it was good we were able to come out and do that."

Peterson gained a season-high 153 yards on those 23 carries, providing three-fourths of the Vikings offense in a 21-14 victory.

After the game, Peterson said he still wasn't 100 percent back from knee surgery, in that he felt he still had room to improve as an explosive runner.

"Like I said, I'll tell you when I feel like I'm at that mark where I envision myself being," he said. "I feel like I want to say I'm there [to stop the questions]. But that would be a lie."

Peterson (sore ankle) didn't practice Tuesday, but said he'd be full-go Thursday night against Tampa Bay.

Cook praised

With defense being a key to the Vikings' 5-2 start, the play of the secondary that has provided the greatest encouragement. The Vikings rank 10th in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 219.4 yards per game, after finishing 26th (251.2) in that category in 2012.

Frazier singled out cornerback Chris Cook, who missed much of last season after a domestic assault charge, as a player who's quickly ascending.

"His confidence has just grown," Frazier said. "Early in the season, I thought he was coming along, but he has really taken a leap over the last two or three weeks. I've been very, very impressed with the progress he's made."

Frazier said defensive backs coach Joe Woods has consistently challenged Cook to play to his potential. Cook's combination of size -- he's 6-2 and 212 pounds -- and quickness makes him a weapon.

"We drafted him because of his size and his length and his speed and his football IQ," Frazier said. "It's been a matter of time for him getting the reps because he's still a guy that doesn't have a long résumé when it comes to starts. The more time on task he gets the better it seems he's performing."

Carlson out

Tight end John Carlson will not play against the Bucs, yet to be cleared after suffering a concussion in the fourth quarter Sunday.

This isn't Carlson's first concussion-related setback. While with Seattle, he was knocked unconscious during a playoff game in Chicago in January 2011, falling awkwardly after he tried to leap over Bears safety Danieal Manning.

Frazier, however, said there were no worries that Carlson's current head injury would have major long-term ramifications.

Back to basics

Jared Allen was thrilled with the defensive effort Sunday when the Vikings had seven sacks and two takeaways, including Harrison Smith's 31-yard interception return for a score. But Allen emphasized that the Vikings need to strive for greater consistency and must clean up the tackling woes.

Cardinals back LaRod Stephens-Howling rushed for 104 yards and added 45 receiving, proving quite slippery and hard to wrap up.

"Runs they spouted off for 10 yards should have been a 2-yard loss," he said.

"You correct those things. And tackling is a mentality. Look, we have good tacklers on this team. We've proved that."

No complaints here

Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson was on the field for 39 snaps Sunday against Arizona. He caught one pass and drew a key pass interference penalty. Other than that, Christian Ponder didn't throw his way.

And he's OK with that.

"We just had a good game plan," Simpson said. "Adrian had a very good game, we just wanted to block well for him, win the game. If it's Adrian's night, us receivers will block as best we can. ... As long as we're winning, everything is good."

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