Adrian Peterson’s farewell to the field on which he ran for an NFL-record 296 yards in 2007 and surpassed 2,000 yards a year ago is likely to come from the sideline as a gameday inactive.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has listed the reigning league MVP as doubtful for Sunday’s season finale against the Lions in what will be the final game in the 31-year history of the Metrodome.
“We’ll see what happens [Saturday],” said Frazier, referring to the team’s next evaluation of Peterson’s groin and foot injuries.
Asked if there’s any way Peterson could talk him into letting him play at the last minute on Sunday morning, Frazier said, “No, unless something dramatically changes.”
Peterson, who practiced on a limited basis Thursday, said the groin injury that’s nagged him for weeks is more responsible for keeping him out than the foot sprain he suffered three weeks ago in Baltimore.
Frazier responded quickly when asked if the team had simply decided to rest Peterson in a game with no playoff implications.
“No, that’s not why,” Frazier said. “If he could play, just like last week, he’d be out there.”
If Peterson doesn’t play Sunday, he will finish the season with 1,266 yards. That would tie for the seventh-best season in team history. Of course, Peterson owns the top two seasons and four of the top five.
On Friday, Peterson was the Vikings’ lone player named to the Pro Bowl. Peterson’s six Pro Bowl selections are tied for fifth-most in team history. The only people ahead of him are Hall of Famers: guard Randall McDaniel (11), defensive tackle Alan Page (nine), receiver Cris Carter (eight) and offensive tackle Ron Yary (seven).
Gerhart out; Asiata ready
Peterson’s backup, Toby Gerhart, reinjured his hamstring in Sunday’s loss at Cincinnati and was officially listed as out on Friday.
So rather than Gerhart getting one more game to showcase himself in the final game of his rookie contract, the running back load will fall to Matt Asiata and Joe Banyard.
Two weeks ago, in a 48-30 victory over the Eagles, Asiata carried the ball 30 times for 51 yards and three touchdowns with both Peterson and Gerhart sidelined.
“Going behind AP, he’s the best at doing it,” Asiata said. “So I can’t really be the same as him, but I try. I’m just going to try.”
Rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes (ankle) practiced on a limited basis Friday and has been listed as questionable. That’s good news for the secondary, considering Rhodes’ 23 passes defensed leads the team by nine.
Cornerback Shaun Prater (ankle) also is listed as questionable, meaning the starters could be Marcus Sherels and Chris Cook, who struggled a week ago while playing despite a knee injury.