The Vikings have tried to use dynamic wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in different ways over the last few weeks. He took a snap at running back in Sunday’s 48-30 victory over the Eagles and nearly attempted a pass on a little trickery called by offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave.
With 2 minutes, 40 seconds left in the first half, Musgrave called the trick play on second-and-8 at the Eagles 25-yard line. Patterson tucked it and scrambled 12 yards for the first down.
“He throws it pretty well,” Musgrave said. “He missed every one of them in practice last week so we were thinking that was going to be a good omen for gameday. But he didn’t get it launched.”
When asked why Musgrave called the play if it wasn’t successful at practice, “Well, you’ve got to take a chance at times,” Musgrave said.
Even if Patterson failed to complete the pass every single time in practice?
“Evidently,” Musgrave responded.
Both of Patterson’s options were covered on the play. Fortunately for Musgrave, Patterson didn’t try to force the pass and picked up a nice gain on the drive that ended in a touchdown.
Peterson sits out
Coach Leslie Frazier held out running back Adrian Peterson of Thursday’s practice, but he didn’t call it a setback. Frazier wanted Peterson to spend more time with the trainers after limited participation Wednesday, and he expects the running back to play against the Bengals on Sunday.
“Based on what we saw [Wednesday], we should be fine,” Frazier said. “We just want to be smart with him and get him back out here [Friday]. Unless something comes up [Friday] that I don’t foresee, he should be ready to go on Sunday.”
Frazier felt it was the wise approach to rest Peterson, who missed the Eagles game because of a foot sprain.
Toby Gerhart, who also missed the Eagles game because of a hamstring injury, was the only active running back at practice. Matt Asiata (ankle) missed his second consecutive practice, but Frazier expects him to participate Friday.
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes was optimistic he would get a shot at practicing Thursday, but he wasn’t even on the sidelines during the media portion of practice.
The rookie hasn’t practiced all week because of a sprained ankle, but Rhodes still has a chance to play Sunday if he participates Friday, Frazier said.
“Obviously we need him,” Frazier said. “He’s gotten better, but not enough to where they cleared him to practice [Thursday].”
Rhodes had an impressive three-game stretch before the injury, which forced him to miss the Eagles game, recording eight of his 10 pass deflections this season along with 13 tackles.
“I was hurt; I wanted to go out there and play and battle with my team,” Rhodes said. “But I couldn’t. I was on the sideline watching, but I still cheered them on after the victory.
“I want to play the last two games not only because the coaches want me to play, but I just love the game of football. I just don’t like sitting out.”
Defensive coordinator Alan Williams didn’t intend to play safety Harrison Smith, who was activated off injured reserve, as much as he did Sunday. Smith played 61 of the defense’s 69 snaps against the Eagles while coming off a turf toe injury.
“Too many to come back, we have to watch that,” Williams said. “Hopefully not get him that many this time, but still get him in the ballgame and get him going.”
Williams said Smith continuously told the staff he was fine against the Eagles’ no-huddle offense.
He didn’t think Smith was winded because of the long layoff and felt the safety played well.
“He said, ‘Coach, I felt like I’ve been to a college workout,’ ” Williams said. “That means his body was really sore.”