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Vikings resume practice without injured safety Harrison Smith

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said he only goes by what he sees in practice to determine whether or not a player will be able to suit up for a game.

If that’s the case, then chances are slim the sliding Vikings (6-6) will have safety Harrison Smith on Sunday in Jacksonville. Smith was not spotted as his teammates warmed up at the start of Wednesday’s practice.

Smith, who has been hobbled by an ankle sprain since the Nov. 20 loss to Arizona, has yet to practice this week. The Pro Bowl safety was spotted in a walking boot with crutches following the Dec. 1 loss to Dallas, a game in which he gutted out 51 of 52 snaps.

“I know Harrison Smith is a pretty tough guy, and he plays all the time,” Zimmer said. “When he’s hurt, he plays. He always plays, so I don’t care about reports. I just go by what happens in practice.”

Smith has a history of playing through injuries. He made a similar 10-day turnaround during the 2014 season, when he needed a walking boot for a swollen ankle following a Thursday night game. Smith shed the boot by the next week and started in the Vikings secondary.

This injury appears more significant, however, given that Smith wasn’t able to join teammates six days after the last game. A Pioneer Press report claimed Smith’s sprained ankle may require surgery and could end his season.

Linebacker Edmond Robinson (hamstring) was able to return to practice after being held out on Tuesday.

Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (knee) was the only other active Vikings player not seen at the start of practice.

The team once again had center Joe Berger (concussion), punt returner Marcus Sherels (ribs) and cornerback Mackensie Alexander (groin) participating after all three were held out last week vs. Dallas.

Five Vikings in all were limited on Wednesday between defensive end Everson Griffen (hip), defensive tackle Tom Johnson (toe), Sherels, Berger and Robinson.

Adrian 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.”

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

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