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Peterson: 'God really has blessed me' to heal faster than others

A new face was talking to reporters in the locker room during this morning’s media access period.

Perhaps you’ve heard of him? Some fella named Adrian Peterson.

The last time the 2012 league MVP held court with reporters was after he suffered a torn meniscus in the Week 2 win over the Packers. He had surgery the following week and was pretty much under the radar until he started sprinting last week. He said today that he feels he’s close to returning, but wouldn’t share when he believes that will be.

He also said he would choose not to return if the Vikings (6-6) were out of the playoff picture by the time he was ready to return.

Here’s some of Peterson’s Q&A with reporters:

Q: How is your rehab going at this point?

A: “I’m doing things now that I can do to put me in position to be able to come back. That’s all I can control as of now?”

Q: On his ability to recover quicker than most people.

A: “Yeah, God really has blessed me to be able to heal a lot faster than others. You guys seen that in 2012 with the ACL. With this injury, it has been the same.”

Q: Do you have a game in mind for your return?

A: “I’m going to keep that among just the coaches and the training staff right now. I’m just focusing on getting my body ready and conditioning and getting back to doing the things that I would have to do on the football field. That’s my main focus right now.”

Q: Can you make cuts on the field now?

A: “I can cut and do things like that. But cutting out there with no one around you is different than cutting and avoiding defenders. So I’m working toward being able to do that.”

Q: How close do you feel you are to where you were before you got hurt?

A: “I feel like I’m there. Mentally, that’s how I feel. I feel I was there six weeks ago. I guess that’s why I’m able to heal a lot faster and to jump over hurdles that people wouldn’t expect me to be jumping over as of now, going on 11 weeks [since the surgery] tomorrow. I’m taking things in stride and just controlling the things I can control.”

Q: Would you come back regardless of what the team’s record is when you’re able to return? Would you come back if you guys lost your next two games and were out of playoff contention?

A: “No. I wouldn’t for obvious reasons. I’m not going to get into details about that but my vision is making it to the playoffs. That’s what I  believe and that’s what I have my eyes on right now.”

Q: On the team’s large number of injuries this season.

A: “You can’t control what happens. It’s all about how you respond to things. When adversity hits, I choose to respond instead of running away. That has played out well for me. I’m just trying to continue that pattern.”

Q: When is the soonest you think you could play again?

A: “I’m not really going to get into that. I know you guys will really want to know. But I’m going to play it by ear and just keep working, and when that time comes, it will come. You guys will know what’s going on. We’ll just wait and see.”

Danielle Hunter's sacks put him at head of his class

Every Wednesday morning, beat writer Matt Vensel will share five Vikings stats that actually mean something heading into that weekend’s game.

15.5 — sacks for Danielle Hunter in his first two NFL seasons

Hunter, the second-year defensive end, recorded a pair of sacks against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys, giving him 5.5 sacks in his past four games and a team-leading 9.5 through a dozen games. Combine those with the six sacks he racked up as a rookie and Hunter has 15.5 sacks in his career, the most by any player selected in the 2015 draft. The former third-round pick has one more career sack than Vic Beasley, a first-rounder of the Falcons, and he is one of five players from his draft class with double-digit sacks.

21 — total pressures allowed by the Vikings against the Cowboys

The Vikings had done a solid job in recent games of keeping quarterback Sam Bradford off his back. A lot of that had to do with their quick-hitting passing attack. But their linemen also deserved a little credit for doing a bit better in pass protection. The line was back to being a liability last week, though, as the Cowboys totaled 21 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, while sacking Bradford four times and hitting him nine times. In their previous three games, the Vikings had allowed only 24 total pressures.

3.0 — the current yards-per-carry average for the Vikings

Just a few weeks ago, the Vikings were on pace to have the NFL’s least potent rushing attack since 1953. After their loss to the Redskins, they were averaging only 2.7 yards per carry. In each of the past two games, though, the Vikings topped 80 rushing yards, bringing their season average up to 3.0 yards per carry. Well, technically, it’s a little less than that but rounds up, so we’ll give them a generous spot. But if they keep getting 4.8 yards per run like they did the past two weeks, they’ll clear it by season’s end.

4 — consecutive losses on the road for Mike Zimmer’s team

For a while, the Vikings were road warriors under Zimmer. They won five of their final six road games last season and took their first two this season, in Tennessee and Carolina. Then have since lost four straight away from U.S. Bank Stadium, starting with the loss in Philadelphia, followed by the ones in Chicago, D.C. then Detroit. To make the playoffs, they will probably need to snap the skid at Jacksonville, who has only one home win in 2016.

-18 — turnover differential for the Jaguars, worst in the league

One reason why the Jaguars aren’t good at home, or anywhere else for that matter, is that they have the NFL’s worst turnover differential. Blake Bortles has thrown a league-high 15 interceptions and the Jaguars have also lost 10 fumbles. Meanwhile, their defense has only produced seven takeaways. The Vikings, despite dropping to .500, still rank second in the NFL with a plus-13 differential, trailing only the Chiefs, who are plus-14.

12:00 PM, 12/11 (FOX)
Minnesota 6-6
Jacksonville 2-10

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