Tag:Minnesota Vikings
Posted on: November 21, 2011 1:48 pm

Peterson has high ankle sprain, could return soon

PetersonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

After watching Adrian Peterson leave the Vikings game on a cart Sunday because of an ankle injury, it wasn’t surprising to hear fans freaking about the loss of one of the game’s top players. Afterward, Peterson’s X-rays came back negative, and when asked if he thought his season was in jeopardy, he said, "No, not at all. That's not in my DNA. I'm going to try and get back as fast as I can and, God willing, I'll be up and ready to run this weekend."

It sounds like that it’s at least a possibility.

As first reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, an MRI taken today showed that Peterson has a high ankle sprain, and a few minutes later, coach Leslie Frazier confirmed it, saying that it was a grade 1 sprain with some ligament damage and that Peterson will wear a walking boot for a few days. He also said Peterson could start light football activity as soon as Friday.

Overall, it’s probably the best news for which Peterson and his fans could have hoped. His status for the Falcons game next week is unknown, but it seems clear at this point that Peterson will return this season.

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Posted on: November 20, 2011 7:44 pm

Adrian Peterson X-rays negative, will have MRI

Posted by Will Brinson

The Vikings were beating the Raiders 7-3 on Sunday when the worst thing imaginable (for Minnesota fans) happened: Adrian Peterson was carted off with an ankle injury.

Naturally, the Vikings ended up losing, but it wasn't all bad news in Week 11, as the X-rays on Peterson's ankle came back negative.

"I just got my ankle caught up on a defender and it got twisted up pretty bad," Peterson said via Viking Update. "The X-ray came back negative, so that’s a plus."

The Vikings running back said he didn't have any swelling on the ankle, but that was normal for his body, and that he would have an MRI on Monday to determine the full extent of the injury.

In "best" news, Peterson doesn't believe the injury is season-ending.

"No, not at all," Peterson said when asked if thought his season might be over. "That's not in my DNA. I'm going to try and get back as fast as I can and, God willing, I'll be up and ready to run this weekend."

The Vikings might feel differently about Peterson's status, especially given that they're not playing for much this year but Peterson's a tough dude, and seeing him out on the field in Week 12 wouldn't be all that shocking.

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Posted on: November 16, 2011 7:30 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 7:34 pm

Keep an Eye on: Week 11's finer analysis

Why isn't Asomugha being used as a cover corner in Philly? (Getty Images)

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

Notice to Eagles fans looking for things to gripe about (which has to be pretty much all Eagles fans at this point): forget about the wide-9 defense for now – your team has actually started to shy away from that in recent weeks. Instead, focus on the use of Nnamdi Asomugha. Your team paid an arm and a leg to acquire the league’s best cover corner not named Darrelle Revis. So far, that cover corner has spent roughly half the snaps defending the slot or playing dime linebacker.

Just because Asomugha came over from Oakland doesn’t mean he’s Charles Woodson. In Green Bay, Woodson has masterfully transformed from cover corner to rover. That’s because he has the fluidity and quickness to react and weave through traffic. Asomugha is not that brand of athlete. He’s an upright player whose physicality is expressed up high with jams and shoulder bumps, not down low with dives and snaking swipes. Furthermore, Asomugha’s brilliance in press coverage is in the way he uses the sideline. Obviously, you lose that element when operating in space.

It will be interesting to see how the Eagles use Asomugha Sunday night. He’ll have some trouble if forced to stay with Victor Cruz’s sharp change-of-directions in the slot. And Eli Manning will audible into plays that force Asomugha to be a tackler if he lines up as an underneath/flats defender in dime. The logical move would be to have Asomugha shadow Hakeem Nicks, thus taking away New York’s best receiver for the entire night. But ostensibly, logic does not apply to a team that buys a new Corvette only to use it for off-road towing.

Palmer actually got things going two weeks ago against the Broncos(Getty Images)

The Raiders have to be extremely encouraged by what they’ve seen from Carson Palmer. Most fans believe that the ex-Bengal’s breakout performance came last Thursday at San Diego (14/20, 299 yards, two touchdowns, one interception). But Palmer was actually quite impressive the previous week in his starting debut against the Broncos. Yes, he had three interceptions in that game. But one came in desperation garbage time and another was a good throw that Champ Bailey simply made a Champ Bailey-like play on. Palmer’s 32 non-intercepted passes that game yielded 332 yards and three touchdowns.

Stats, however, do not always tell the whole story. That’s why there’s film. Palmer has looked terrific on film. He’s moved well in the pocket, showing fundamentally sound footwork in sensing and sidestepping the rush. He has worked through his progressions elegantly, pushed the ball downfield with velocity and shown a willingness and ability to fire strikes through tight windows. It’s confident quarterbacking to a tee (or just about).

There’s a world of difference in the Raiders offense now. Their speed at wide receiver is actually paying dividends. A great way to capitalize on speed is to prolong the down and increase the number of receiving options on a play. The further downfield the wideouts can get and the more spread out everyone can align, the more space there is for the speedsters to attack. The Raiders could not attack that space with Jason Campbell – he was too cautious and too mechanical for them to even try. The opposite has been true with Palmer. And keep in mind, Palmer hasn’t even played with Darren McFadden yet.

Will the running game be a big part of these offenses going forward? (Getty Images)

Both of these teams have had trouble finding their offensive identity this season. That’s surprising given that both were clearly run-oriented clubs the previous two years, and both entered this season with the same backfield personnel. Atlanta, however, got away from Michael Turner early in the season, going instead to more semi-spread concepts. Presumably, they were eager to play with their new toy, first-round pick Julio Jones. Offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey’s play-calling may have also been influenced by the fact that his team fell behind in some of those early games.

The Falcons, however, found themselves ill-prepared to play predominantly through the air. For one, they don’t have an offensive line that’s athletic enough to hold up for long stretches in pass protection. Secondly, the Falcons early on used simplistic route combinations with their wide receivers (perhaps to make life easier on the young Jones, though that’s an outsider’s speculation).

When Jones hurt his hamstring in Week 6, Atlanta returned to the heavy formations and ground-in-pound approach. They’ve averaged 149 yards per game on the ground since then, after averaging just 98.9 in Weeks 1-5.

The Titans were lost on the ground as well early on, though not because of a newfound predilection for passing. Instead, superstar running back Chris Johnson was, well, just plain bad. Johnson did not have his usual burst, quickness or acceleration. Had he gotten in the open field, we probably would have seen that his speed was gone, too. Tennessee’s blocking was not outstanding and the absence of suspended fullback Ahmard Hall hurt a little. But really, the problem was Johnson.

With backup Javon Ringer getting more snaps in recent weeks, Johnson has started to come back to life. He rushed for a season-high 130 yards against Carolina. But this year, everyone rushes for season highs against Carolina. The jury is still very much out on whether Johnson can regain the form that he lost during the league’s lockout and during his own personal lockout.

The Titans, fortunately, have managed to go 5-4 despite ranking dead last in rush offense. Shrewd pass route designs from new offensive coordinator Chris Palmer have manufactured some big plays through the air, though with no particularly dynamic receiving weapons, big aerial strikes can’t be heavily relied upon down the stretch. The Titans’ playoff hopes, just like the Falcons’, hinge on their once-great running game.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 11 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: November 16, 2011 2:44 pm

McFadden likely out again, big day coming for AP?

Posted by Will Brinson

Not that this is breaking or even shocking news, but it's looking more and more like Darren McFadden won't play for Oakland in Week 11 against Minnesota, as he hasn't practiced this week.

In fact, as our Raiders Rapid Reporter Eric Gilmore points out, McFadden actually hasn't practiced or played since he suffered an injury in the first quarter against Kansas City on October 23.

That's a long time, though it's not entirely surprising, considering that a "mid-foot sprain" isn't the type of injury that allows a player to get right back on the field.

Plus, Michael Bush has been quite impressive in McFadden's stead, averaging over 100 yards a game since replacing McFadden in Week 7, running for 352 yards on 66 attempts over the past three games.

The bigger concern for the Raiders then, might be on defense. They were gashed by Tim Tebow and Willis McGahee two weeks ago but held up nicely against the Chargers. The Chargers don't have Adrian Peterson however.

"The one thing that separates [Peterson] from a lot of guys is the way he can run with such power and authority but can run away from you as well, and he can make you miss," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "There are times when defenders really don’t want to tackle Adrian Peterson."

As Gilmore notes, in four losses, the Raiders have given up an average of 209.5 rushing yards. In their five wins? They've allowed just 69.6 yards on the ground to opponents.

It stands to reason, then, that Peterson, and not McFadden, is their biggest concern for Sunday.

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Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: November 15, 2011 11:16 am

Winfield breaks clavicle, likely out for season

After a four-game absence, Winfield is again on the shelf with an injury. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Before Monday night's matchup with the Packers, Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield had missed four games because of a neck injury. He'll now miss the final seven weeks of the season after breaking his clavicle in the second half of Minnesota's 45-7 loss in Green Bay.

During his brief appearance, Winfield made an impact and showed that, even at 34, he's still one of the league's best tackling cornerbacks. Of course, a roster full of Pro Bowl defensive backs wouldn't slow Aaron Rodgers, who continues to treat real NFL games like Madden, where he's on Superstar mode and everybody else is stuck in easy mode.

According to Football Outsiders, the Vikings defense ranks 21st against the pass through nine weeks. That doesn't look to change anytime soon with Winfield again on the shelf.

PFT.com notes that Winfield, 34, earns a base salary of $6.75 million in 2011. He’s scheduled to make $7 million and $7.25 million, in 2012 and 2013, the last year of his current contract.

We're guessing at some point soon Winfield reworks his deal or the Vikings could choose to cut him altogether. At 2-7, there are too many other needs on the roster to keep a 30-something cornerback who struggles to stay healthy.

Clearly, this is Donovan McNabb's fault. (That's a joke, obviously, but it seems like whenever anything goes wrong, McNabb is somehow responsible.)

Aaron Rodgers threw for four scores against a fierce Vikings pass rush, Randall Cobb returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown and the Packers defense contained Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings in a 45-7 victory on Monday night.

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Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:48 pm

Packers D joins offense in Monday night rout

Posted by Will Brinson

Not breaking news: Aaron Rodgers is pretty awesome. Also not breaking: the Green Bay Packers are really good. They showed as much on Monday night by breaking out the whupping stick against the Vikings and beating Minnesota 45-7 at Lambeau to improve to 9-0 on the season.

Rodgers was nearly perfect (again) Monday, completing 23 of 30 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns. The raw accumulation of his stats doesn't really tell the story, though, because Rodgers was out of the game with 10 minutes left, and backup Matt Flynn actually was perfect, going 2/2 for 38 yards a touchdown.

Week 10 Wrapup

The Packers defense is the bigger story though, because they were markedly improved from previous weeks -- defensive coordinator Dom Capers got aggressive after Christian Ponder, as Clay Matthews nearly matched his season total with a pair of sacks on the Vikings rookie quarterback.

Green Bay didn't allow a single point from Minnesota in the first half and Capers unit also limited Adrian Peterson to just 51 yards on 14 carries, although in fairness to Peterson's game, there wasn't really ever a chance for Minnesota to get their offense going, after Randall Cobb took a punt return 80 yards for a touchdown following Minnesota's three-and-out to start the game.

The only points the Packers did allow were a touchdown from Peterson that occurred only after Cobb muffed a punt in the third quarter, giving Minnesota the ball on Green Bay's 14-yard line.

Obviously the Vikings aren't the NFL's most elite offense, but as we've seen with other would-be teams around the league, it's possible to trip up against lesser opponents.

The Packers didn't flinch once, and judging by their decision to keep running passing plays out of the shotgun, inside Minnesota's red zone, while up 30-plus points, their only concern is winning every single game the rest of the season.

If the defense progresses like it did on Sunday over the next few games, that's a distinct possibility, because there's no reason to think the offense is going to slow down at any point.

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Posted on: November 8, 2011 5:06 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 11:43 am

Podcast: Adrian Peterson talks Vikings, gaming

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Viking running back Adrian Peterson joins the show to talk about the Vikings' season to date, the Bears' win over the Eagles on Monday Night Football and given Chris Johnson's struggles this season, if teams should be hesitant to pay backs big bucks. 

ProFootballTalk.com's Michael David Smith also stops by for his weekly chat. We discuss the Patriots' latest loss, the Ravens' latest win, the Redskin's death spiral, and look ahead to next week's Lions-Bears matchup.

But there's more!

We talk about Albert Haynesworth's legacy in New England and the likelihood he clears waivers and ends up in Philadephia (And if that happens, does he become the most disliked NFL player surpassing Michael Vick?), relive the Eagles' Monday-night nightmare,  and wonder (again) if Chicago should pay Matt Forte since he's a huge part of that offense.

Just hit the play button below to listen (and did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes?). If you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.

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Posted on: November 5, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: November 5, 2011 1:33 pm

Harvin not happy about $7.5K fine for fighting

The NFL continues to haphazardly mete out punishments to the confusion of everyone. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The NFL continues its crackdown on the game's biggest scourge (or so it would seem given the vociferousness with which they're addressing the issue): fining players for, well, just about everything.

The latest victim: Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin, who's now $7,500 lighter in the wallet for his sideline scuffle with Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn last Sunday. You can watch the two players, in all their innocuousness, below:

We've seen worse behavior between middle-aged men pulling down seven figures.

Harvin was fined because he was assessed a personal foul after the incident. An NFL spokesman says Harvin's now out $7,500 because he grabbed Munnerlyn's facemask.

Uh huh. Because it has nothing to do with the league failing to understand the connection between punishment and deterrence (like, say, this). Instead their philosophy seems to be: fine first, ask questions later if we get around to it.

Munnerlyn wasn't flagged on the play and wasn't fined, either. This prompted Harvin to take to twitter and ask a perfectly legitimate question: "Can someone please explain how I get fined and the other player gets nothn..wow."

We eagerly await the league's mealy-mouthed response.

Will this be the week Pete gets back over the hump and has a winning week? He joins Lauren Shehadi to give his picks for this week.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com