Vikings miss Peterson in 30-7 loss to Patriots
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The face of the franchise was nowhere to be found as
the Minnesota Vikings flailed away against the New England Patriots on
Sunday, and it's not clear when, if ever, Adrian Peterson will rejoin
The star running back was inactive for the team's home opener after
being charged with child abuse for striking his 4-year-old son with a
tree branch, a stunning development for one of the league's most
popular and well-respected players.
For eight years Peterson has been the focal point of the Vikings
offense, but on Sunday he stayed away from the stadium to avoid
becoming more of a distraction.
Coach Mike Zimmer repeatedly declined to talk about Peterson after a
mistake-filled 30-7 loss only to later describe an offensive malaise
that he had previously not seen from his team.
"I told them after the game that's the first I've ever seen it," Zimmer
said. "We've had bad practices and stuff, but I haven't seen it in
three weeks maybe, guys just kind of milling around, getting lined up.
I don't know, but I'm going to address it."
It's hard to imagine that it isn't rooted at least in some part to
Peterson's situation. Matt Cassel threw a career-high four
interceptions, the Vikings rushed for just 54 yards against a defense
that gave up 191 last week and dynamic receiver Cordarrelle Patterson
was held to just to just four catches for 56 yards.
"I think we were off a lot. I think it was just because 28 wasn't
there," Patterson said, referring to Peterson. "We've got to learn how
to not focus on 28 and just worry about this team with or without
Adrian. So next week we've just got to come in and game plan without
him. But if he's here, we really need him."
The Vikings (1-1) also had a field goal blocked and returned for a
touchdown, went 4 for 11 on third down and allowed Stevan Ridley to
rush for 101 yards and a score for the Patriots (1-1).
"It didn't affect the team," Zimmer insisted about Peterson's absence.
"You know what affected the team? Throwing interceptions, getting a
field goal blocked, not tackling well enough, having penalties on
The former NFL MVP was indicted on Friday, booked and released from a
Houston jail on Saturday.
In the wake of harsh criticism levied at the NFL when former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice initially received just a two-game
suspension for knocking out his then-fiancee, the Vikings decided to
Zimmer declined to discuss specifics and GM Rick Spielman was
unavailable for comment. There was no timetable set for a decision on
his status for next week's game at New Orleans.
In 2011, the Vikings suspended cornerback Chris Cook with pay after he
was arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and barred him
from all team activities while his trial played out.
Cook wound up missing 10 games and was eventually acquitted. He never
faced discipline from the NFL and played two more seasons with the
Vikings before signing with the 49ers.
The NFL is looking into Peterson's case, and if convicted he could face
a minimum six-game suspension under the league's new tougher domestic
abuse policy that was implemented after Commissioner Roger Goodell
admitted he botched Rice's initial punishment.
Peterson's attorney said his client was only disciplining his son,
didn't intend to harm the boy and was cooperating with the
Even after the troubling allegations, there were still plenty of No. 28
jerseys on the backs of Vikings fans at the stadium.
"I don't think he was trying to abuse his child," said Nick Novak, a
29-year-old season-ticket holder from nearby Roseville. "I think he was
trying to punish the child for wrongdoing. . He did cross a line
NOTES: Cassel completed 19 of 36 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown.
... Zimmer said he never considered going to backup Teddy Bridgewater
and also said Cassel would start next week against New Orleans. ...
Matt Asiata started in Peterson's place and rushed for 36 yards on 13
carries and caught a 25-yard TD pass. ... Chandler Jones had two sacks
for the Patriots and returned the blocked field goal 58 yards for a TD
just before halftime.
Vikings Miss Peterson In Loss To Patriots
Patriots Insider Top Stories
Mic'd Up: Bill Belichick vs. TexansListen as New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is mic'd up against the Houston Texans in Week Three.
Patriots InsiderYesterday at 7:11 AM
Rapoport: Pats Could Have Both QBs For Week 4NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport gives us the latest on the New England Patriots quarterback situation.
Patriots InsiderThursday at 8:54 AM
Rex Ryan Is Coming After Bill BelichickBuffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan says during press conference that if New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was playing quarterback that he would be coming after him.
Patriots InsiderThursday at 8:09 AM
Watch: Throwback Thursday- The 'Butt Fumble'New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez fumbles the ball in the most awkward of ways after running into his own teammate on Thanksgiving against the New England Patriots.
Patriots InsiderThursday at 7:41 AM