Artose Pinner celebrated his first game in three weeks on the active list Sunday with 29 carries for 125 yards and three touchdowns, and now he is celebrating his nomination for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week.
Pinner joins Willie Parker of the Pittsburgh Steelers and LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers as the other nominees. Parker rushed for a franchise-record 223 yards and one touchdown on 32 carries in the Steelers' 27-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Tomlinson carried 28 times for 103 yards and three touchdowns in the Chargers'
48-20 victory over the Denver Broncos. With touchdown runs of one, six and seven yards, Tomlinson broke the single-season NFL touchdown record of 28. He now has 29 through 13 games.
Fans can vote for one player on NFL.com until 11 a.m. Central on Thursday.
After two penalties on special teams against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 12, Pinner spent the next three games on the game-day inactive list. He returned Sunday to rush 29 times, catch two passes and play on a number of special teams.
"It's one of those situations where a guy could be down in the slumps when you're not playing and get out of shape, but that's definitely something I didn't want to do because you never know when an opportunity might present itself and you have to be ready when it does," Pinner said.
Pinner was active because Chester Taylor was unable to play due to a rib injury, but Pinner didn't know he would be starting until before the game. And he certainly didn't know he was going to get that much action.
His success, however, didn't come as a surprise to guy he was replacing.
"I'm not surprised. We still have the same offensive line, they did a great job blocking and Artose ran hard. I knew he could do it," Taylor said Monday.
Both Pinner and head coach Brad Childress agree that Taylor will be the feature back if he is ready to resume play on Sunday.
"Chester is the guy, no doubt," Pinner said. "He's done a great job all year long. But if it comes with the opportunity where Chester needs more rest or a few more breathers on game day and they feel a lot more confident putting me in or Ciatrick (Fason) in or any of those guys, we're ready for the opportunity."
Pinner proved that Sunday when his hot start allowed him assume a workhorse role, thereby putting him up for NFL honors.
Pinner Up for Ground Player of Week
Viking Update Top Stories
Reports: Peterson nearing dealFormer Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson could find a home before the NFL draft kicks off Thursday.
Viking Update1:13 PM
Mayock on Vikings’ ‘splash’ decisionWithout a first-round pick, what does NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock expect from the Minnesota Vikings’ second-round pick?
Viking Update12:36 PM
Former Vikings tackle calls it a careerThe Minnesota Vikings didn’t have Jake Long for long last year, but the Vikings will go down as the offensive tackle’s last NFL team.
Viking Update9:54 AM
In-depth NFL draft analysis: SafetiesOne of the best safety classes in some time could see two of them chosen in the top 10 and many more in the first two days. Is it worth a shot for the Minnesota Vikings? We assess…
Viking Update7:29 AM