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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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 84 4th Qtr 9:45
Indiana 71
Cleveland 58 3rd Qtr 7:08
Detroit 52
Milwaukee 54 3rd Qtr
Miami 50
Memphis 18 1st Qtr 4:25
Dallas 18
Chicago 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
NY Rangers 0 3rd Prd
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 3 3rd Prd
Philadelphia 3
Winnipeg 3 3rd Prd 17:15
Pittsburgh 2
Washington 2 3rd Prd
Columbus 3
Tampa Bay 1 2nd Prd 9:00
Carolina 3
Dallas 2 2nd Prd 9:55
Montreal 3
Detroit 4 2nd Prd 8:48
Florida 2
Colorado 0 2nd Prd
Nashville 0
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Calgary
Minnesota 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 41 2nd Half 2:27
Bowling Green 53
Western Mich 65 2nd Half 0:42
Buffalo 73
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 54 2nd Half 4:26
Georgetown 45
Vanderbilt 58 2nd Half 1:17
Georgia 63
West Virginia 51 2nd Half 7:37
Kansas State 47
Central Mich 47 2nd Half 3:13
Kent State 55
Saint Josephs 46 2nd Half 0:14
La Salle 51
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 2nd Half 1:00
Toledo 66
Tulsa 57 2nd Half 0:48
Tulane 51
George Washington 38 2nd Half 3:33
VA Commonwealth 64
Pittsburgh 60 2nd Half 1:50
Virginia Tech 55
Indiana State 33 1st Half 0:32
Evansville 40
Tabor College 24 2nd Half
Oral Roberts 43
Florida 8:00 PM
Alabama
Tennessee 8:00 PM
Arkansas
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Auburn
Baylor 8:00 PM
Oklahoma State
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State
Fresno State 8:05 PM
San Diego St
UNLV 9:00 PM
Nevada
SD Christian 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Colorado State 10:00 PM
Boise State
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Gardner-Webb 45 2nd Half 2:10
Radford 55
Tulane 26 2nd Half
Houston 18
(3) Baylor 46 2nd Half
TCU 34
Navy 22 2nd Half
American Univ 32
Valparaiso 15 2nd Half
Illinois-Chicago 24
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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 NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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