Vikings CBs A Hot Topic This Week

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 13, 2012 – 7:36 am

Not making an appearance in Wednesday’s “8 Vikings-Rams Storylines To Follow” blog entry was the topic of Vikings CBs, but they were a hot topic during Leslie Frazier’s meeting with local reporters. The first five questions of Frazier’s Wednesday press conference focused on various issues surround Vikings CBs, so let’s go over a few things we learned…

A.J. Jefferson could play on Sunday
Since Chris Cook went down with a broken arm during the Vikings Week 8 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, A.J. Jefferson has stepped into an increased role on defense. Near the end of last week’s win over Chicago, though, Jefferson also was injured. He suffered a concussion and was forced out of the game and into the NFL’s return-from-concussion protocol.

On Wednesday, Frazier said Jefferson was “getting closer” to passing all of his tests. The Vikings expect to have a much better idea of Jefferson’s chances to play this Sunday in St. Louis after Thursday’s work.

Next man up
In the event that Jefferson is not able to return in time for Sunday’s game, a few players would be asked to step up. Rookie Josh Robinson would be first on the list, although he’s seen plenty of the field this season while playing in the Vikings nickel package. On Monday, Frazier also mentioned Brandon Burton and Marcus Sherels as guys who may see increased roles on defense should Jefferson sit out.

Sherels to resume kickoff return duties
With Percy Harvin unavailable because of his ankle injury, the Vikings kickoff return role is open for business. Sherels was the first to fill the void and he’s done so adequately. More recently, though, Jefferson took a turn returning kicks. With his availability now in question because of the concussion, Frazier indicated earlier in the week that Sherels will reassume the kickoff return roles. Even if Jefferson does play on Sunday, expect Sherels to take the reps so the Vikings can reduce Jefferson’s exposure to another concussion.

Chris Cook on track
Chris Cook has returned to practice for the Vikings and appears to be on track to return to game action as soon as next week against the Houston Texans. Frazier has been asked about the chances of Cook returning this season and hasn’t been specific about if or when it could happen, but the fact that Cook has returned to practice is a sign of good progress.

The Vikings have done a nice job of covering up his absence with Jefferson and Robinson, but having Cook return to action would be a big plus for the Vikings in terms of their ability to cover bigger receivers and in terms of their depth both on defense and on special teams.

Winfield held out of Wednesday practice
Veteran Antoine Winfield did not practice on Wednesday, but that is not worthy of alarm. The Vikings have been diligent about monitoring Winfield’s reps, and it is paying big dividends this season. Winfield, in his 14th season, is having another stellar campaign and his health is a big reason for the Vikings increased performance against the pass. Frazier did mention that Winfield’s knee was bothering him a bit, and that added to the team’s decision to hold him out on Wednesday. It’s expected that Winfield will return to practice on Thursday.

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Peterson Named NFC Offensive Player Of The Week

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 13, 2012 – 7:07 am

Adrian Peterson carried the ball 31 times against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, racking up 154 yards and scoring 2 TDs on the day. His performance led to a crucial Vikings victory that moved them to 7-6 and keeps them alive in the NFC playoff hunt with just 3 games to play. That performance also earned him NFC Offensive Player of the Week Honors.

In his 6th season from Oklahoma, this is Peterson’s 7th career Player of the Week Award and his 2nd of this season (Week 7). He leads all active RBs with 7 career Player of the Week Awards. The performance was his 13th career 150-yard rushing game, the most among active players. Peterson also now has 7 consecutive 100-yard rushing games, the longest streak in team history, and he’s on pace to rush for a career-high 1,969 yards. If Peterson can average 133.3 rushing yards per game over the final 3 contests, he’ll become just the 7th RB in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards.

This season, Peterson has rushed for 1,600 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 6.04 yards per carry, making him just the 3rd player in NFL history to rush for at least 1,600 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 6.0+ yards per carry in his team’s first 13 games (Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown in 1963 and O.J. Simpson in 1973 are the others). Also, Peterson has joined LaDainian Tomlinson as the only players in NFL history to rush for at least 10 touchdowns in each of his first 6 seasons.

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