The Fans Have Spoken

The Vikings' Adrian was the top vote-getter among running backs for the Pro Bowl balloting. The fan portion of the procedure ended Tuesday, with players and coaches submitting their ballots today.

The fans have spoken.

The fan portion of the balloting for the Pro Bowl ended this week and validated the Vikings' selection of rookie Adrian Peterson with the seventh overall selection – making A.D. the top vote-getter among running backs and sixth overall with 753,294 votes.

When the Vikings drafted Peterson, the franchise was in desperate straits to find a face of the franchise. Prior to him arriving, the top-selling Vikings jerseys were of Matt Birk and Steve Hutchinson – a pair of offensive linemen well down on the annual list of jersey sales. Peterson has not only been a fan favorite of Vikings fans, but clearly a fan favorite throughout the country, surpassing votes received by stars like LaDainian Tomlinson, Brian Westbrook, Larry Johnson, Steven Jackson and Clinton Portis.

In addition to Peterson, Tony Richardson's 204,168 votes led all NFC fullbacks in the fan portion of the balloting.

Players and coaches spent Wednesday and Thursday filling out their ballots for the Pro Bowl, which account for the other two-thirds of the voting.

The teams will be announced on Tuesday with the Pro Bowl being played the week after the Super Bowl – Feb. 10 in Honolulu. While fan voting doesn't always put the starters in the lineup, don't be surprised to see several Vikings make the all-star game, including Peterson, Richardson, Birk, Hutchinson, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams and possibly Darren Sharper and E.J. Henderson.

FRIDAY NOTES
* Fred Evans is back at practice after sitting out a two-game suspension. Evans' suspension was the result of a pair of incidents from earlier this year in which he plea bargained both through the court system. Because of the plea agreements, he became subject to penalties from the league. Evans stayed in the Twin Cities during his suspension
* Ray Edwards remains away from the Vikings as he sits out his own suspension and can't return to the team this season unless the Vikings make the playoffs. If they do, he will be able to play in any and all games they have in the post-season.
* Safety Tank Williams (knee) and guard Artis Hicks (back) didn't practice Thursday. CB Charles Gordon (quadriceps) and safety Mike Doss (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis.
* The Bears may be forced to use recently-signed DT Jimmy Kennedy because neither tackle Tommie Harris (knee) or Darwin Walker (elbow) were able to practice Thursday. CB Nathan Vasher is also a question mark with a groin injury for the injury-depleted Bears defense.
* The Viking signed wide receiver Justin Surrency to the practiced squad. Surrency was one of the cuts at the end of training for the Vikings this summer.
* Anyone who saw Thursday night's drubbing of the Broncos by the Texans has to take heart if you're a fan of the Vikings. The Broncos looked awful on both sides of the ball. The Broncos are the Vikings' Week 17 opponent and, if you watched much or any of Thursday's game, you get the distinct impression they're already mailing it in.

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