Rookie running back Adrian Peterson has missed the last two games with a knee injury, but he still leads the NFL in rushing yards. The phenom's absence is about to end.
Rookie running back Adrian Peterson
moved closer to playing Sunday against Detroit when he underwent an MRI on Monday that showed "excellent healing," according to coach Brad Childress.
Peterson, who suffered a slightly torn lateral collateral ligament in his right knee on Nov. 11 at Green Bay, did some pregame work before the Vikings' 41-17 victory over the New York Giants
on Sunday, but the decision was made to hold him out.
The phenom, who leads the NFL with 1,081 yards rushing despite missing the past two games, returned to practice on a limited basis last week.
He wore a brace in practice and will continue to wear it in games to provide additional support for the knee.
"He'll have to do all the things he needs to do during practice to prepare himself for this week," Childress said.
Childress made it clear that Peterson will be eased back upon his return. The Vikings have that luxury because of the presence of veteran Chester Taylor
, who has rushed for 545 yards this season and could reach the 1,000-yard mark for a second consecutive year.
"You're not going to go back there and turn over the whole load to (Peterson)," Childress said. "Those guys have been good playing off each other. There are conditioning factors involved, there's fatiguing factors involved when you get involved in playing a 65- or 70-play game. We'll have a pulse on how he practices and who gets what."
Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier on the performance by the Vikings defense (four interceptions, three sacks) in Sunday's victory over the Giants: "We talk all week long that if you want to be a championship team, a championship defense, these are the kind of games that define you. On the road against a good team, a good offense, good quarterback. How do you want to be remembered? This is the time to step up if you are what you think you are, and our guys did."
S Dwight Smith on the looks the Vikings defense provided the Giants: "We try to show one coverage and play a different one. It gets kind of tough because the (Giants) like to try to come out and quick snap you and do things to get you out of position. But for the most part, it worked for us. When you have a guy like Darren Sharper, a guy who made so many plays in this league, you get him showing like he's coming down toward the line of scrimmage and a lot of teams get uneasy."
Rookie WR Sidney Rice caught a 60-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tarvaris Jackson on the second play from scrimmage Sunday. It was Rice's third touchdown reception of the season. "Sidney is getting better, every time we have a chance to practice," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "Just like Tarvaris (Jackson). They'll continue to step up, they'll continue to make plays, and we've got to put them in position to do that."
LB Heath Farwell tied a Vikings record Sunday against the Giants with six special teams tackles.
FB Tony Richardson played Sunday wearing a knee brace to support his sprained MCL. He missed only one practice because of the injury.
S Tank Williams suffered a mild MCL sprain playing special teams against the Giants, and his status for this weekend's game probably won't be determined until late in the week.
WR Troy Williamson left the game in the third quarter because of a head injury suffered while returning a kickoff. Tests Monday showed that he should be all right and ready to go against Detroit.
CB Antoine Winfield has missed three of the past four games because of a hamstring injury and is considered day-to-day, according to coach Brad Childress. It's uncertain if and when Winfield will practice this week. Rookie Marcus McCauley has been filling in for the veteran.