Brad Childress would not say if Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson will be fined for missing the Vikings' three-day mandatory minicamp so he can attend the fourth annual Adrian Peterson Day in Palestine, Texas, on Saturday, but it's clear the coach isn't happy about the situation.
Childress made that known Friday after the first practice of minicamp as he talked to reporters. Childress said Peterson did not inform him that he would miss the camp until Wednesday or Thursday of this week and added he does not expect to see Peterson at all for the four practices. Peterson has not taken part in any of the Vikings' optional Organized Team Activities this offseason, but he did arrive Monday at Winter Park to begin doing some work.
Obviously, the assumption was that Peterson would remain in town through this weekend so he could participate in the camp. Childress made it clear this was the fourth annual Adrian Peterson Day and that this was not a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"I just know that there's a bunch of guys here, this has a term mandatory for a reason and the work is here, period," Childress said when asked if he was annoyed. "You can say whatever you want. This is the fourth annual Adrian Peterson Day. I don't know if it's going to be like every year that they are going to have that, but we're going to have this, too. The same thing I told Toby Gerhart, way before we decided to draft him. This minicamp was on this date. I know he's going to go back and walk in graduation, this was going to be here. This is where the work is at."
When asked if there was more to this than a scheduling conflict, Childress said: "Not from my standpoint. We were going to be here, we were going to take people that were here."
The obvious point is that Peterson could believe that the same rules that apply to Favre apply to him, considering they are the two best players on the Vikings offense. Favre was never expected to show up at this camp and gained a good reason when he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his ankle last month.
"I think that first of all that's a special circumstance [with Favre]," Childress said. "I don't think Adrian's batting around retirement in his mind. So it's a special set of circumstances. You can say, 'Well, is it special? Is everything equal?' Obviously it's not and that's just the way it is. That's a matter of fact. I think everybody understands that on our side of the equation."
One of the Vikings' offseason priorities was a study on Peterson's issues with fumbles and they had him carrying a weighted 14-point ball on Monday. Childress was asked if the Vikings also are trying to work with Peterson on how he carries the ball. "When he's here," Childress said.
Trading messages: When asked about his most recent correspondence with Favre, Childress said he sent the quarterback a text message on Friday but had not heard back. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, asked how sure he was Favre will come back, said, "Being as how he had the surgery, I think he will. But that's just my own personal opinion. That's got nothing to do with what's good for him and his family."
Greenway, Cook out: Linebacker Chad Greenway and cornerback Chris Cook did not take part in Friday's practice and it was unclear what was wrong with both. Greenway was not on the field other than for stretching. "I can't figure out why he wasn't out here," Childress said. "I was kind of focused on E.J. [Henderson, who is coming back from a broken leg]. But I'll go in and find out. Left guard Steve Hutchinson (shoulder) and cornerback Cedric Griffin (ACL) returned to the locker room after stretching. Henderson took part in the individual drills.
Harvin, Rice put on muscle: Wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has been working out in Florida this offseason and has not taken part in the OTAs, looked to be bigger (especially) in his arms and told reporters he's put on 10 to 12 pounds. "I think he came to us at 188 [pounds] last year," Childress said. "He's not quite that right now. It looked like he wintered very well in Gainesville. Hasn't just been sitting around. I'm always interested to evaluate guys through two or three days." .... Wide receiver Sidney Rice said he has put on 7 or 8 pounds of muscle and wants to come into training camp between 210 and 215 pounds. Rice said he has lifted more weights than offseason than he normally does. Rice also has elected to train on his own much of the offseason in Miami.