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Photo - Aj Mansour (KFAN)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - The Vikings returned to the practice field on Monday following an eventful weekend where the team cut down to 53-men and formed their 8-man practice squad. Head coach Leslie Frazier met the media and, no surprise, topping the interest of Vikings fans across the Upper Midwest was the status of rehabbing running-back Adrian Peterson.
The goal for Peterson and the Vikings has been week one versus Jacksonville all along. It began during Training Camp when Adrian Peterson was activated off of the Vikings PUP-List. Once Frazier realized that playing him in week one was a real possibility be said that IF Adrian was to play week one against the Jaguars, he would need to see some live action during the preseason. Then, between the second and third preseason games news dropped that AP was not going to play at all during the preseason but was still on schedule for Week One. And then following the final preseason game in Houston we are told that Adrian is in fact 50/50 for this weekend's game. The closer we get to September 9th and opening weekend, the further that the Vikings continue to backtrack and temper expectations on Adrian's playing status.
"We’re going to give him and give our team every chance possible before we make that decision [on his status]," Frazier said Monday.
To date, Peterson has only seen minimal contact in a handful of practices at Winter Park. In those practices defenders have been able to lay a lick on Adrian's upper body but have not yet been able to take him to the ground.
"We have to be able to see the big picture," Frazier said Monday. "Adrian is not just another guy on our team; he is in so many ways the face of what we try to do."
Frazier went on to say that despite whether Adrian is able to play, the Vikings are confident that their backup option in Toby Gerhart would be able to fill in with no need to change the game plan.
"With Toby [Gerhart] we can run our offense even if Adrian isn't in there," Frazier said. "We feel like we don't have to change any of our plays, we're very confident and comfortable with Toby being our lead back if that's the case. The same runs that Adrian would have would be the same runs that Toby would have."
If Adrian is cleared to play sometime before Sunday, Frazier has assured that they will closely monitor his carries and how he is able to bounce back from finding himself at the bottom of the pile.
"We recognize if he's able to get in this first ball game, it'll be with limited exposure." Frazier continued. "We'll talk about it as the week goes on and see how he's doing and if it's even a valuable option to let him play."
The Vikings take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, September 9th at 12:00pm.
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