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
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
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
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