Peterson, Vikings will miss Felton

Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports

Adrian Peterson was at his best with fullback Jerome Felton on the field last season.

The NFL on Monday suspended Minnesota Vikings fullback Jerome Felton three games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Nobody will miss the 2012 Pro Bowler more than his backfield-mate Adrian Peterson.

Peterson ran for more than 1,500 yards and averaged 6.9 yards per carry with Felton on the field; with Felton on the bench, he averaged only 4.6 yards per rush.

Adrian Peterson Last Season
With Jerome Felton On/Off Field

Peterson ran the ball 235 times out of two-back sets last season with Felton on the field for 201 of those. Should the Vikings be forced to adjust their playcalling sans Felton, it could impact the team’s offensive success. Minnesota averaged 6.1 yards per play out of two-back formations last season and 4.6 yards per play out of all other offensive sets.

Stewart among PUP hits

Tuesday at 4 eastern was the deadline for NFL teams to cut their rosters down to 75 and with that, a few notable players were placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

The Carolina Panthers placed Jonathan Stewart on the PUP list with an injured right ankle. He’ll miss the first six games, which means DeAngelo Williams will open the season as the team’s top back. While Stewart and Williams have split carries since Stewart was drafted in the first round in 2008, Williams has seen a spike in production when Stewart sits.

According to Elias, in the seven games Stewart has been inactive since 2008, Williams has averaged 15.7 touches and 94.5 total yards per game. He’s averaged 14.6 touches and 78.3 total yards overall since 2008.

Harris heading to IR

Green Bay Packers running back DuJuan Harris was placed on injured reserve Tuesday after re-injuring his knee in Friday’s preseason game.

Harris, who finished last season as the team’s starter, averaged 5.3 yards per rush between the tackles last season, tops among all Packers running backs. All other Packers running backs combined to average 3.5 yards per rush between the tackles.

With Harris on the shelf, Green Bay will look to second round pick Eddie Lacy to carry the load. The Packers haven’t had a 100-yard rusher since Brandon Jackson in Week 5 of 2010, a stretch of 43 consecutive games. Lacy would be the team’s first rookie to rush for 100 yards since Ryan Grant in 2007.