Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings training camp snapshot: Running backs

Posted by: Updated: July 26, 2013 - 12:23 AM

Aaaaand …. here we go! In many ways, the Vikings’ 2013 season officially gets underway Friday – first training camp walkthrough at 10:30 a.m., first practice at 2:45 in Mankato. And yes we know a lot can and will happen between now and Sept. 8, the day the Vikings open the regular season at Detroit. But taking the 90 players currently on the roster, we’re delivering our in-depth position-by-position report as a primer for the opening of camp.

RUNNING BACKS

Currently on roster: 8

Likely to make opening day roster: 4

Certain to make the team: Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Jerome Felton

On the bubble: Matt Asiata

Practice squad candidates: Zach Line, Joe Banyard

Camp depth: Jerodis Williams, Bradley Randle

Biggest offseason developments: It was learned that the abdomen injury that “slowed” Peterson down the stretch of last season was a sports hernia injury, an issue that required the MVP to undergo surgery in February. … The Vikings also re-signed Felton, rewarding him for his Pro Bowl efforts in 2012 with a new three-year deal worth a maximum of $7.5 million.

What we’ll be watching: Like the Vikings, we’ll be keeping a close eye on Peterson’s training camp workload. During OTAs and mini-camp, Peterson was given several practices off, a means to keep his body fresh as he overcomes that sports hernia injury and a 2012 MVP season that included 388 touches and probably twice that many collisions.

Peterson, as we all know, can be quite restless. Don’t forget that last year he spent the first 11 practice days of training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, forced to continue his ACL rehabilitation off to the side. Yet he was so miffed at being placed on the PUP list that he vowed to make his workouts with strength and conditioning coach Tom Kanavy and head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman even more grueling than any practice could be.

Anyway, as superhuman as Peterson seems to be physically, the Vikings will certainly pump the brakes on his preseason workload when they can.

On a side note, color us curious as to whether head coach Leslie Frazier and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave will find an increased role for Toby Gerhart, who was the forgotten man in the 2012 Peterson Extravaganza. Gerhart finished last season with a career-low 50 carries for 169 yards.

Star Tribune offseason excerpt:

For months, everyone around football marveled about how Peterson bounced back from torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments to post 2,097 rushing yards, the second most prolific single-season output in NFL history. Peterson was rewarded for his efforts with the league MVP award. And if that wasn’t extraordinary enough, then it was learned earlier this month that Peterson played the final six games of the season with a painful sports hernia. That injury caused the Vikings to significantly cut back on his practice time. In December, for example, Peterson essentially only went through practice on Fridays. And yet in the Vikings’ five games in the season’s final month, Peterson totaled 861 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

-- Feb. 22

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NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs 5 Bottom 9th Inning
St. Louis 1
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
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Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
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LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
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Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
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Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 6 3rd Qtr 11:35
Massachusetts 0
West Virginia 10 2nd Qtr 6:30
(2) Alabama 10
Rice 10 2nd Qtr 5:51
(17) Notre Dame 14
(10) South Dakota St 10 2nd Qtr 2:19
(24) Missouri 21
Fla Atlantic 7 2nd Qtr 6:29
(22) Nebraska 24
California 24 2nd Qtr 4:35
Northwestern 7
Marshall 21 2nd Qtr 6:29
Miami-Ohio 3
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(23) North Carolina
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Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
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Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
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Louisville
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TX-San Antonio
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Boston College
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Nevada
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North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
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So Florida
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Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 1st Half 5:00
Seattle 0
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Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
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San Jose
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Hamilton
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Calgary
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Ottawa
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Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
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Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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