It was a tale of two halves for the Vikings defense on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. In the 1st half, the Raiders racked up 186 yards of offense, collected 13 first downs, converted 4 of 6 third downs, and scored 24 points. In the 2nd half, though, the Vikings defense clamped down on Oakland and surrendered just 115 yards, 9 first downs, 1 of 8 third-down attempts and only 3 points.
According to Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier, veteran DT Kevin Williams deserves much of the credit for the turnaround in defensive performance.
“Without question, his best game of the season,” Frazier said on Monday. “He was dominant. I told him earlier this morning I wish we could have finished that game off just for him because he deserved a game ball for his performance yesterday. It was just a dominant performance from the Kevin we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing, and yesterday it was on display.”
Williams finished the game with 12 tackles, including 2 tackles for a loss, and he also had a sack. There’s also no doubt that he made a difference even when he didn’t notch a statistic because he commands double-teams regularly, which frees up other defenders to make plays (LB Chad Greenway had 20 tackles and a sack).
But Williams’ contributions on Sunday went beyond the football field. Frazier shared with reporters that it was Williams who lit a fire under the defense in the locker room at halftime, with the Vikings trailing 24-7.
“He couldn’t be blocked one-on-one, destroyed their guard when he was rushing the passer, he was very disruptive and just a great example for the rest of our guys,” Frazier said. “And I think that had a lot to do with why our defense played as well as they did in the second half, limiting their offense to three points and playing on the short field. Kevin had a lot to do with that. He said a few words to our entire team prior to going back out at the second half. He really backed up his words with the way he played yesterday.”
Frazier wouldn’t go into specifics of what Williams said to the team at halftime, other than to indicate it was a “good” message, and a message to which the team definitely responded.
“It was a good message, but I don’t want to into it,” Frazier explained. “It was a good message, the guys responded. They played much better in the second half. Going into that half, the way that that last four or five minutes of the second quarter ended, that could have been a disastrous second half. But the guys stood up and they fought and put ourselves in a position to have a chance to win that game. A lot of that has to do with the leaders that are still on this team. Although we’re 2-8, there are guys in that locker room that are fighting to get a win.”
Tags: Kevin Williams, Leslie Frazier
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Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier met with reporters on Monday and he provided an update on RB Adrian Peterson, who was forced out of Sunday’s game in the 2nd quarter after injuring his ankle. Frazier says Peterson suffered a high ankle sprain and will be in a walking boot for the next couple of days.
Frazier added that there is some ligament damage, that the ankle sprain is a Grade 1 sprain, and that Peterson will try and practice on Friday to see if he’ll be able to play on Sunday.
“The good news is it’s nothing more serious than that, the fact that it is an ankle sprain and he’ll recover from it,” Frazier said. “It’s just the matter of the amount of time he’ll miss. We’ll have a better indication toward the end of the week.”
On other injury news, Frazier said that TE Kyle Rudolph has a quad contusion and will be day-to-day. Fellow TE Visanthe Shiancoe suffered a mild strain to his hamstring. Finally, Frazier had good news on the Erin Henderson front, saying the starting LB should be available for this Sunday’s game in Atlanta.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Erin Henderson, Kyle Rudolph, Leslie Frazier, Visanthe Shiancoe
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Vikings RB Adrian Peterson left Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders with an ankle injury. He was unable to return to action, obviously leading to concern about his status for this weekend’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, and possibly about his status even after that.
During his post-game press conference, Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier gave no indication that Peterson had sustained a significant ankle injury, but Frazier also couldn’t be definitive about the injury because more tests are to be conducted on Monday.
“Adrian has an ankle sprain,” Frazier said after the game. “We’ll do an MRI to learn more about it, but right now it has been diagnosed as a sprain.”
Frazier will meet with reporters again today, so perhaps he’ll have further updates on Peterson’s injury.
Peterson spoke to reporters after the game, and he also couldn’t be sure as to the extent of the injury. Peterson said his ankle “got twisted up pretty bad” and that x-rays on the ankle came back negative, which is a positive. Asked if he’s tempted to “shut it down” for a couple of weeks because of the team’s record, Peterson was adamant in his answer.
“No, not at all,” he said. “That’s not in my DNA. I’m going to try and get back as fast as I can and, God willing, I’ll be up and ready to run this weekend.”
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier
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