Hartman: Gerhart produces when he gets a chance

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 12, 2013 - 1:04 AM

Backing up Adrian Peterson isn’t easy, but the Vikings back stays prepared as his free agency looms.

hide

Minnesota Vikings Toby Gerhart.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Toby Gerhart was surprised when he got drafted 51st overall in the second round of the 2010 draft by the Vikings, but the former Stanford running back has developed into one of the most important Vikings players as Adrian Peterson’s backup. It would be a big blow to the team if, as expected, he signs as a free agent with another club after this season.

Gerhart recently said he doesn’t know what his future will hold with the Vikings.

“We’ll see what happens, I have no idea,” he said. “Who knows if another team wants me or if the Vikings still want me? I’ll focus on this year, and when it’s done, I’ll figure out what’s best for me and my family.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here. Adrian and I have a good relationship, and who knows what happens? I’ve enjoyed my four years here, and maybe they’ll sign me to back up Adrian for the rest of his career, who knows?”

Recent success

Coming into the Vikings’ Week 11 matchup at Seattle, Gerhart had only posted six games with more than 65 yards rushing in his four-year career (and all in his first two seasons), but he has now eclipsed that mark in three of the past four games with Peterson limited because of various injuries.

Against Seattle he carried the ball seven times for 67 yards. The next week against Green Bay he had eight rushes for 91 yards, averaging 11.4 yards per carry. He only received two carries in the Vikings’ overtime win over the Bears, but last week, with Peterson leaving the Ravens game early in the second quarter because of a mid-foot sprain, Gerhart had 15 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown that came on a season-best 41-yard carry.

That’s a drastic difference from last season, in which Peterson rushed for a near-record 2,097 yards, when Gerhart’s highest rushing total was 41 yards on six carries in a 30-7 victory over Tennessee.

He was asked what it’s like to have to wait for an opportunity to carry the ball behind one of the best running backs in NFL history.

“I know my role here is to back him up and to spell him on third downs,” Gerhart said. “I try to make the most of my chances when I get them.”

Gerhart was used fairly often in 2011 — even before Peterson’s Christmas Eve severe knee injury against the Redskins — posting a career-high 109 carries for 531 yards, including three games with more than 90 yards rushing.

In his rookie season of 2010, Gerhart rushed 81 times for 322 yards and one touchdown and had two games with over 75 yards rushing.

This season Gerhart already has eclipsed his yardage total from 2012, when he had 169 yards on 50 carries. This year his 283 yards have come on only 36 carries and his 7.9 yards per rush would be over 2 yards better than anyone in the NFL if he had enough carries to qualify for the league rushing leaders.

Gerhart, who missed practice Wednesday because of a hamstring injury, will most likely get a chance to start only his seventh regular-season game Sunday against the Eagles if he’s healthy and Peterson’s mid-foot sprain keeps him sidelined.

Gerhart said Peterson has taught him a lot.

“I’ve learned how to be a professional,” he said. “[Peterson] works hard, the way he pushes himself in the offseason, his conditioning, stuff like that. The things he does on the field are truly special, so I’ve learned a lot.”

Cole on Wilson

Vikings linebacker Audie Cole had the chance to play with Seahawks star quarterback Russell Wilson when the two were at North Carolina State, before Wilson transferred to Wisconsin.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto 1 Bottom 5th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Washington 2 Top 7th Inning
Miami 0
NY Mets 5 Top 5th Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 1 Bottom 4th Inning
Baltimore 0
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Chicago WSox 4 Top 5th Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Cleveland 0 Top 3rd Inning
Minnesota 1
Detroit 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Kansas City 1
Seattle 0 Top 3rd Inning
Houston 1
Los Angeles 2 Top 2nd Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Texas - N. Tepesch 2:35 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 3:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong 3:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Arizona - W. Miley 3:10 PM
Colorado - C. Bergman
Cincinnati - A. Simon 7:05 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 20 3rd Qtr 7:31
Buffalo 3
Dallas 17 3rd Qtr 8:50
St. Louis 21
Washington 20 3rd Qtr 14:13
Philadelphia 21
Houston 0 3rd Qtr 6:25
NY Giants 17
Minnesota 9 3rd Qtr 9:09
New Orleans 13
Tennessee 0 3rd Qtr 9:16
Cincinnati 19
Baltimore 10 3rd Qtr 7:18
Cleveland 14
Green Bay 7 3rd Qtr 11:33
Detroit 12
Indianapolis 30 3rd Qtr 11:45
Jacksonville 0
Oakland 6 3rd Qtr 7:04
New England 10
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 4 2nd Prd 7:50
Carolina 2
Buffalo 4:00 PM
Washington
St. Louis 5:30 PM
Columbus
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Calgary
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 2:00 PM
Toronto FC
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 11:43
Montreal 15
Ottawa 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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 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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do on Sunday in New Orleans?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close