<
>

If Peterson makes it through full week of practice, he'll play Sunday

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings running back
Adrian Peterson is on track to return to the field this week, just in time
for a pivotal NFC North game against Detroit.

Peterson tore the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee
three weeks ago against Green Bay. He missed the last two victories
over Oakland and the Giants, but the star rookie had an MRI on Monday
that "shows excellent healing," coach Brad Childress said.

As long as everything goes as planned this week in practice,
Childress said he would ease Peterson back into the fold against
the Lions, splitting carries with veteran Chester Taylor.

Despite missing the past two games, Peterson still leads the NFL
with 1,081 yards rushing and is second to Brian Westbrook with
1,301 yards from scrimmage.

The Vikings (5-6) have won three of their last four games to
creep back into the playoff picture in the muddled NFC. Detroit
(6-5) has lost three in a row after starting the season 6-2.

Childress said that Peterson lobbied to get into the game
against the Giants on Sunday, but the team wanted to play it safe
and give him one more week to heal.

Peterson has been "symptom-free for the last seven to 10
days," Childress said. "The next step is for him to get in
practice and get knocked around."

Safety Tank Williams' sprained knee was the only injury of
significance for the Vikings in their 41-17 victory over the
Giants. Childress said Williams will be evaluated through the week,
as will cornerback Antoine Winfield, who missed the game with a
hamstring injury.

Receiver Troy Williamson was woozy after a blow to the head on a
kick return, but Childress said test results were favorable and
"he should be OK."