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Photo - Aj Mansour (KFAN)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Eden Prairie, MN - Vikings running back Adrian Peterson took another step on his road to recovery Monday afternoon when he began taking hits from his own teammates in practice on Monday afternoon.
Peterson, who underwent reconstructive knee surgery on December 31st, and the Vikings continue to hold out hope that despite missing all of the team's preseason games, Peterson would be ready to take the field on September 9th against the Jacksonville Jaguars for the home opener.
"We put him through some things today," Frazier told reporters Monday. "We told our defense to hit him a little bit, see how he responded. So, I'm anxious to talk with him and see how he did. I told (running backs coach) James Saxon that we were going to be contacting him today and if the guys hit him too hard to make sure he let me know or Saxon know. He told James Saxon, 'Hey, you tell coach, you better tell those defensive players to buckle up.' I knew it would get him fired up. He did pretty good just from an observation standpoint. So, we'll see when I talk with him how he feels."
In Mankato earlier this year, Leslie Frazier mentioned that he wasn't sure they would ever go full contact on Peterson, mentioning that they never really did in the past either. But this is the most significant contact that Adrian has taken in the past eight months. The big test will come when Peterson heads back to practice at Winter Park today. The team will monitor how well AP is able to bounce back from his first day of contact.
"There were times he had nowhere to go," Frazier said. "He had to run into people and respond. It was good to see. There were some good hard hits but nothing to the ground, just guys stunting him, and it seemed like he handled it pretty well. I'm sure he'll be a little bit sore tomorrow."
Geoff Schwartz returns to the practice field for first time since having sports hernia surgery...
Sunday afternoon, Leslie Frazier told reporters that the team was expecting to see right guard Geoff Schwartz return to practice sometime early next week. "The fact that [Geoff] was moving around today and moving around as well as he was gives us some hope that next week he’ll be able to practice. We’ll just see how he progresses." Monday afternoon Schwartz strapped on the pads and jumped back into the mix one week ahead of schedule.
Schwartz underwent surgery on his sports hernia back on August 7th and was originally given a rehabilitation timetable of 4-6 weeks. Three weeks after going under the knife and Schwartz was practicing, albeit in a limited role.
The very day that Schwartz went down with the injury, Schwartz was about to usurp Brandon Fusco and begin taking reps with the first team offense at right guard. Since his surgery, Fusco, who remained unchallenged, has struggled through the first three preseason games. As it stands Fusco is your front runner but look for Schwartz to jump in and challenge the unproven sophomore right guard before too long.
Raymond, Carr, Robinson, Sherels and Sendejo still sidelined as defensive secondary begins to take shape...
After last Friday's preseason game in Minneapolis, Coach Frazier had a laundry list of players that were banged up with most of those coming from the defensive secondary. The team was left with only ten players in the secondary on Monday with one of them, Chris Cook, recovering from a concussion suffered against Buffalo.
With five players in question for Thursday's game in Houston, the Vikings have to get a little creative heading into the final preseason game. With another cut day coming at the end of the week, defensive coordinator Alan Williams said Monday that he's not sure how many DBs the team will be able to keep.
"You know what, I don’t have an [exact] number," Williams said. "We just want to keep as many guys as we can to fill out the roster but also not jeopardize any other positions at the linebacker spot, at the d-line spot or with the whole team in general. 10, 11, somewhere around there. I never think you can keep too many DBs with the way the NFL is structured with the multiple sets on third down and now teams on first down are coming four-wide. It’s an important position, just like any other but with this being a passing league, you can never have too many."
Due to the high number of injuries, DB Reggie Jones was also added to the mix on punt return duties. He and rookie Jarius Wright split time Monday.
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings' updates and breaking Vikings' news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjMansourKFAN