Both Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart have been dealing with injuries over the past couple of weeks, and Gerhart has been officially ruled out with a hamstring injury. Although there’s still a chance that AP is able to suit up and play against the Detroit Lions tomorrow, it would be wise for the Vikings to hold him out. At this point in time, it looks like that’s the plan, because Peterson is listed doubtful and doubtful players almost never play.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Mark Craig, the Vikings will start No. 3 running back Matt Asiata, who got the start in Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The plodding 5’11″, 229 pound Utah product only managed to get 51 yards on his 30 carries, but he did pick up a memorable three touchdowns in the upset win.
The Vikings are fully expected to rotate Joe Banyard in as well, and they’ll get a good look at what both backup RBs can do against a very good Lions front seven. There’s absolutely no point in risking further injury to either Gerhart or, especially, Peterson, because tomorrow’s game against the Lions is meaningless (neither team is in playoff contention). Just about everyone has been calling for the Vikings to give Peterson another game off, and the Vikings are fully expected to oblige and wisely hold out Peterson from further harm in a game that means little.