When the Minnesota Vikings went on the road last weekend to take on the division rival Detroit Lions, one of the biggest stories leading up to the game was Adrian Peterson. He was feeling sick the day before the game, downgraded to questionable for the game, and for a little while there was a question of whether or not he was going to be able to play on Sunday.
We now know that it was due to a shellfish allergy from eating shrimp, but the FOX broadcast reported it was because he swallowed some chewing tobacco on the plane ride to Detroit. And it turns out that came from a joke his offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, made.
“Well, it probably wasn’t a very good joke,” Turner said. “We hit a bit of an air pocket and bump on the airplane and then we got there and they said Adrian was sick and I jokingly said, ‘Yeah, when we hit that air pocket he probably swallowed his chew.’ I didn’t confirm it or verify it. I kind of just said it, haha type said it, but someone took it seriously.”
Turner, as anyone who has heard him talk surely knows, has a dry sense of humor so it is understandable that someone could mistake him for being serious when he is actually joking. But that is what he said happened when he was in the pre-production meeting with FOX and he made the joke.
According to him, though, he did not mean to tell it as a joke, more of an “off-the-cuff remark” as a way of saying what happened and apparently people took him to be serious.
“I did tell it, I think, in the production meeting, I’m not sure,” he said. “To me, it’s a lot about nothing but, obviously, to someone else it might be more important.”
In the end, everything worked out – Peterson played – and the whole chewing tobacco incident is over. Turner said that he apologized to his star running back after the game, but Peterson still ran for 98 yards against the Lions defense.
If anything, the thing that likely bothered him the most was having to talk to all the reporters after the game, which would have happened whether he was sick or not, but the discussion would have focused more on the game rather the FOX report.
“Well, I apologized to Adrian when we got on the bus,” Turner said. “He got on the bus and I explained to him what happened. I apologized to him and it’s pretty funny how things happen.”