Rookie Peterson to have MRI after spraining right knee vs. Pack
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Adrian Peterson put away the loafers and expensive suit, folding it haphazardly in his travel bag and instead opting for sweats and sneakers.
The demure look was appropriate for the Vikings' biggest star, who was trying for an encore of his NFL-best performance the previous week. Instead, Peterson's day ended with a painful flip, a sprained right knee and an MRI exam scheduled for Monday.
"I don't expect to go out there and rush for almost 300 yards every week," Peterson said. "You've got your best game one week and your worst game the next."
It certainly seemed that way for Peterson, who ran for 45 yards and fumbled once in the Vikings' 34-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, one week after rushing for 296 yards against the Chargers. He managed only three second-half touches before taking an awkward hit.
"It was scary," said Peterson, who doesn't remember much of the play. "It happened so fast, I don't know if it was a shoulder pad or helmet, but right when I planted, that's when he came and hit me."
Peterson wasn't even sure who tackled him late in the third quarter with Minnesota trailing 27-0. After an 11-yard catch on a screen, he was hit by Packers cornerback Al Harris and went tumbling, his feet high in the air.
"I never, ever want to see a guy get hurt," Harris said. "You're not proud that something like that has happened. My prayers will go out to him. I wish him the best."
Peterson said he believed Harris' low hit was clean. The rookie writhed in pain on the field afterward, fearing he might have torn a ligament, and players immediately called over trainers.
"I didn't know what to expect," Peterson said. "I was just in pain for a minute there and it slowly went away."
Peterson spent several minutes on the ground, then left the field limping with the help of trainers, who put a sleeve on his leg and watched as he jogged on the sideline. He later lobbied Vikings coach Brad Childress to let him return.
"Yeah, I was running on it, it felt good, but just didn't really want to chance it," Peterson said. "Look at how the game was going."
Said Childress: "There was no point."
The Vikings planned to use Peterson often after the first meeting between the teams on Sept. 30. He ran for 112 yards on 12 carries in Green Bay's 23-16 victory, but got only two touches in the second half.
Fresh off the most prolific running day in NFL history, Peterson looked like a run-of-the-mill rookie.
The Packers defense had made Peterson its emphasis after watching him run roughshod over the Chargers, and he carried the ball 11 times to give him 1,081 yards for the season. He also had three receptions for 14 yards before the injury.
Minnesota came in with the best running attack in the league, averaging 183.1 yards per game. But the Packers didn't allow Peterson to break free despite touching the ball on 11 of the Vikings' 17 offensive plays in the first half.
"They've got a good team, a good defense and they came out and played hard, kind of slowed us down," Peterson said. "We knew things would eventually open up, but we just put ourselves in some bad positions."
Peterson wasn't even the best back on the field Sunday. That was fellow first-year player Ryan Grant, who had his second 100-yard rushing effort in three weeks for the Packers.
Grant, acquired in a trade earlier this season, scored the first touchdown of his career and finished with 119 yards on 25 carries. He was succinct when asked what worked against the Vikings.
"Everything," Grant said. "We executed well from all standpoints."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press