Bruising rushers Peterson, Lynch promise a treat

  • Article by: By DAN WIEDERER
  • Updated: November 3, 2012 - 1:22 AM
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Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28)

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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Our snapshot look at the Vikings as they prepare for Sunday's game against the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in Seattle:

PLAYERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

If you're a fan of old-school, power running, Sunday's game will be a treat.

Outdoors. A chance of rain. And two of the NFL's most bruising backs on display.

Adrian Peterson (775 yards) and Marshawn Lynch (757) are the league's top two rushers through eight weeks, and both are coming off 100-yard outings in Week 8.

Peterson went for 123 yards on 15 carries against Tampa Bay. That included a nifty 64-yard touchdown run, Peterson's longest run since an 80-yard score against the Lions in September 2010.

Lynch, meanwhile, had a 77-yard touchdown sprint in the second quarter in Detroit last weekend, fueling his 12-carry, 105-yard afternoon.

Both backs rarely go down at the initial point of contact. That means both defenses must tackle well to avoid being gashed.

Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice, who has played with both Peterson and Lynch, offered his assessment of the two backs: "Similar but different," Rice said. "I say that because Adrian is a guy who's real shifty. But they both love contact. Neither one of those backs is going to run out of bounds. And on the outside edge as a receiver, you've always got to stay on your block because you never know when they're going to come out of the pile."

Peterson, who still has a sore left ankle, was held out of Friday's practice as a precaution but should be fine for Sunday.

MOST PRESSING QUESTION

Who will start alongside Antoine Winfield at cornerback?

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has made his decision but refused to announce it publicly Friday, trying his hardest to keep his secret until game time Sunday.

Rookie Josh Robinson had been the Vikings' third corner through the season's first eight games before Chris Cook broke his arm against Tampa Bay. Robinson even started in place of Winfield in Week 5 against the Titans, a move made to get him more experience.

But A.J. Jefferson also could be a suitable starting option. At 6-1, he's 3 inches taller than Robinson and has a longer frame, similar to Cook's, perhaps making him an intriguing option against bigger outside receivers.

Regardless of who starts, Robinson and Jefferson will both see increased time going forward and will need to be productive.

KEEP AN EYE ON ...

After missing five games because of a dislocated right ankle, safety Mistral Raymond will return in a reserve role.

Jamarca Sanford will continue starting with Harrison Smith. But Raymond, who's listed as questionable, should be worked in, with Frazier hoping the second-year defensive back won't have any hesitation with his running and cutting.

The Vikings' plan is to have Raymond return to the starting lineup once it's clear he's 100 percent healthy. But Frazier also noted Sanford's improvement could earn him some playing time even when Raymond is fully healthy.

SEAHAWKS SCOOP

Seattle is one of only four teams right now with more rushing attempts (246) than passes (210). So you can see how coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell like to play it close to the vest with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. And why wouldn't they? With a defense that ranks fifth in yards allowed (312 yards per game) and third in points surrendered (16.8), the Seahawks have a chance to stay in every game. Seven of their eight games have come down to the final drive. Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, end Chris Clemons and linebacker K.J. Wright are the top defensive playmakers.

INJURIES AND FINES

• After missing Thursday's practice because of personal reasons, receiver Percy Harvin was back on the field as a limited participant Friday. Harvin is dealing with a hamstring issue and is probable for Sunday.

• Tight end John Carlson (concussion) is the only Viking ruled out.

• Other Vikings starters listed on the injury report, all probable, are: Peterson (ankle), Winfield (knee), Christian Ponder (knee), Chris Kluwe (knee), Letroy Guion (ribs) and Erin Henderson (elbow).

• In the fine department, Jared Allen was hit with a $7,875 fee for his third-quarter scrap with Tampa Bay left tackle Donald Penn in Week 8. Penn incurred the same fine, with a league spokesman saying both players were punished for grabbing the other's face mask during the fight.

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