Hartman: Peterson is prepared despite light preseason load

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 31, 2013 - 11:36 PM
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Vikings running back Adrian Peterson didn’t see much action this preseason, here taking the field before last Sunday’s third exhibition game at San Francisco. But it was still more action than he saw a year ago, when he was named NFL MVP.

Photo: JERRY HOLT • jgholt@startribune.com,

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How did Adrian Peterson react to the decision by coach Leslie Frazier to play the great running back in only three plays during the four preseason games, in which the Vikings went 1-3?

“It is what it is,” Peterson said.

You wonder if Peterson can be sharp when the Vikings open the season Sunday against a very improved Lions team, with so little playing time behind him.

Of course, Peterson didn’t play at all last preseason, when he was recovering from his torn left knee ligaments, and yet he went on to come within 9 yards of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record and take home the NFL MVP award.

“I knew the game plan so I knew what it was [going to be this preseason],” Peterson said.

Was he OK with not playing much in the preseason? “I’m a competitor, so I like to play,” he said. “I understand the big scheme of things though and know that the regular season is what matters. So it didn’t bother me too much.”

Peterson said his surgically repaired knee is feeling good.

“It’s stronger than it was last year. I’m excited with where I’m at,” he said.

He also said that having the same guys back on the offensive line gives him hope that he can break Dickerson’s record this season.

“I think we can break it,” he said. “I’m not really focusing on that. I’m trying to focus on helping this team win a championship.”

Vikings on their chances

With Vikings cuts looming Thursday as the team prepared to finalize its roster from 75 to 53, a number of players spoke about what it’s like waiting to find out their fate following the 24-23 victory over Tennessee in the exhibition finale.

“Same as it has been the past few years, not really in my control,” said Marcus Sherels, the former Gophers cornerback who became the first Vikings player ever to record an interception and a kickoff return for a touchdown in a preseason game. “I will just sit and wait, and we will see.”

Sherels will be back with the Vikings for a third season, despite not getting drafted out of college.

Running back Joe Banyard had 13 carries for 62 yards and seven receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown against the Titans. “I might cry, I really might cry,” Banyard said when asked what he would do if he made the cut. “I will definitely have to thank the good Lord, and then I’ll just cry because I know this is where I want to be.”

Unfortunately for him, Banyard got word he didn’t make the team. He might still end up on the practice squad.

Said Joe Webb, who made the move from quarterback to receiver: “I am feeling good about it. I am going to get a peace of mind, and the coaches will hopefully make the right decision.”

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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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