Coach Leslie Frazier said after Friday's practice there is no reason to decide before the active list must be declared 90 minutes ahead of kickoff on Sunday. This was a back track from Thursday, when Frazier said the Vikings would figure out Peterson's status on Friday night or Saturday morning.
"We'll definitely have an answer on Sunday, one way or another," Frazier said, innocently stating the obvious.
Peterson was listed as questionable to play the Jaguars on the injury report, which by definition gives him a 50-50 chance. The 27-year-old two-time All-Pro pick is recovering from reconstructive surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee last Christmas Eve. He's had no setbacks during his rehabilitation, and all signs have pointed to his participation.
Frazier has repeatedly refused to grant Peterson, arguably the franchise's most important player, clearance ahead of time. The coaches and trainers will discuss Peterson's status further this weekend, Frazier said, before reaching their decision. But the Vikings have already acknowledged their plan to limit Peterson's carries, with Toby Gerhart getting the majority of the work, and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said on Thursday he doesn't have much doubt that Peterson will be able to play.
Peterson, of course, has been the one pushing the conversation. As fiercely determined as any player in the NFL, he has steadfastly assured his readiness for the start of the 2012 season since he began working out in the spring.
The Vikings ruled three backups and special teams players out of Sunday's game: linebacker Marvin Mitchell, safety Andrew Sendejo and wide receiver Jarius Wright. They all have sprained ankles; the team hasn't specified on which legs. Backup cornerback Marcus Sherels, the primary punt returner and alternate kickoff returner when Percy Harvin is given a break, has recovered from his sprained ankle, however, and was listed as probable.
Four other players who were fighting injuries at the end of training camp have healed and are probable for Sunday as well: safety Robert Blanton, tight end John Carlson, defensive tackle Letroy Guion and guard Geoff Schwartz. Guion and Carlson are starters. They each suffered sprained right knees earlier in the preseason.
Frazier also said the Vikings likely will use both rookie Josh Robinson and second-year player Brandon Burton as their third cornerback in the nickel defense, when middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley comes out of the game. Cornerback A.J. Jefferson and offensive tackle Mark Asper, both acquired last weekend, will probably be inactive for Sunday's game, Frazier said.