Call to duty

As injuries to veteran players continue to mount, many of this year's draftees are finding themselves with more responsibilities than most first year players encounter during their initial year with the team.

With Anthony Thomas out for the year Adrian Peterson a sixth-round pick, has the prospect of greatly increased playing time during the final weeks of the regular season. Peterson, a standout at Georgia Southern became college football's all time leading rusher with 6,543 yards and set the Southern Conference career record with 996 rushing attempts. As a college sophomore, he was a recipient of the Walter Payton Award.

"I'm here and I'm ready to go if the coaches need me "Peterson said. 'This is the chance that I've been waiting for. I'm not happy about all the injuries that have happened to this team, but if I can do something positive to help turn things around, then that's a good thing."

Peterson, 5-10" 208 pounds, believes he has the speed and skill needed to read opponent's defensive schemes, thus making him an excellent prospect for the future as well as a needed boost for the present.

"I hope that I'll be playing with the Bears for a long time," Peterson said. "This is definitely where I've always wanted to be. Growing up, the NFL seems very far away, almost like a dream. I think that just about any kid who is playing football hopes to reach this level some day.

"Being here as a member of this team is everything that I had hoped it could be. This is my job and my passion. Certainly, I still have a lot to learn. All rookies do. I'm working hard to be the best that I can be. I feel that I will be ready to be an impact player. If the coaches need me, I'll be there. You can be sure that I'll be giving it my all."

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