Minnesota Vikings running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart were pulled from Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals due to injuries, and both running backs missed the previous week’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles with a foot sprain and a hamstring injury respectively. Gerhart aggravated his hamstring injury on Sunday and was substituted early on, while Peterson was subbed out early in the second half. Peterson has always been determined to play through his injuries, but both a foot sprain and a nagging groin injury were too much for him, especially against a sturdy Bengals defense. He couldn’t get anything going on the ground, and the Vikings wisely decided to sub him before he befell an aggravation like Gerhart.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Chip Scoggins, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier stated that neither Adrian Peterson nor Toby Gerhart will practice today, and Scoggins added that Gerhart seems to be “doubtful” for this week’s season finale against the Detroit Lions. If neither player can play, then the Vikings will have to turn to Week 15 standout Matt Asiata, and it would be interesting to see if Asiata is just a one-hit wonder; he seems to have a real nose for the end zone. Also, Joe Banyard figures to get some carries if both players are out, so it’s worth keeping an eye on him as well.
The Vikings season is already done, and there’s nothing more to play for than pride. They would be wise to rest both Peterson and Gerhart this week, and I would consider both players unlikely. I think we’ll see Banyard and Asiata splitting carries against Detroit, and a fringe bonus for the Vikings is the ability to get more tape on both of those guys, especially against a top-notch Lions front seven.