Offensive coordinator Norv Turner likened the Vikings’ commitment to Adrian Peterson as to winning the lottery.
Peterson has struggled to produce yards in the past three games, but the Vikings keep giving him the ball. If not for three big runs, his total yardage would have been disappointingly low.
Turner is pleased with how the persistence has paid off.
“It’s like the lottery. If you don’t play the lottery, you can’t win the lottery,” Turner said on Thursday at Winter Park. “If we don’t give him the ball we can’t break long runs and he was close in that game [against Detroit] to breaking four or five different times. And we’re close to finishing blocks or getting the right guy and giving him that chance.”
In last Sunday’s 28-19 win over the Lions, Peterson carried the ball 19 times for 98 yards, however one run accounted for 75 of those yards. His average gain per carry outside of the 75-yarder was about 1.3 yards.
In Week 6 against Kansas City, he carried the ball 26 times for 60 yards with a long of 23. In Week 4 at Denver, he had 16 carries for 81 yards and a long of 48.
“Adrian has done a great job of not getting frustrated,” Turner said. “I know he sees how close he is on a number of plays. It’s a matter of all of us just staying with it.”
Turner tried to find humor in the misunderstanding that led to Sunday’s report that Peterson had swallowed chewing tobacco on the airplane ride to Detroit and got sick.
Peterson said on Sunday that the reports were false and it was actually a reaction to food allergies that nearly kept him out of the game. He insisted again on Wednesday it was an allergy to shrimp that made him sick.
“It probably wasn’t a very good joke,” Turner said. “We hit a big air pocket bump on the airplane and then we got there and they said Adrian was sick. I jokingly said ‘Yeah, when we hit that air pocket he probably swallowed his chew.’ I didn’t confirm that with [the communications staff] or verify it. I kind of just said it in a ‘ha ha’ type of setting and someone took is seriously.
“I explained what had happened and I apologized to [Peterson].”
Turner said he mentioned it as an “off-the-cuff remark” in the pregame production meeting with FOX.