EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier pulled Adrian Peterson from Sunday's 42-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in part because the Vikings' big deficit wasn't worth risking further injury to Peterson's sprained foot. But the Vikings might have to see some improvement in Peterson's condition before they'll put him on the field for Sunday's season finale against the Detroit Lions.
Frazier said the Vikings will make a determination about Peterson's status when they get back on the practice field this week -- the team will practice on Tuesday, while shifting its normal off-day to Wednesday because of the Christmas holiday. It seems unlikely Peterson would do much in practice on Tuesday, but as the week goes on, the Vikings will be monitoring him closely.
He carried seven times for 31 yards in the first quarter on Sunday, but had just four carries after that and was taken out of the game in the third quarter.
"I think there were some moments in that game where he did some good things and some other moments where we just weren’t sure he’d have the burst we normally see, so we all want to see if he’s better this week with some more time," Frazier said. He later added, "We always want to do the right thing by him when it comes to playing the game of football. He means so much to our franchise and organization so we have to be wise when talking about how to use him."
Frazier confirmed that backup running back Toby Gerhart again strained his right hamstring on Sunday, two weeks after his initial injury in Baltimore. He also said middle linebacker Audie Cole will miss the Vikings' final game after suffering a high ankle sprain, which likely means Erin Henderson will start at middle linebacker unless the Vikings decide to take a look at rookie Michael Mauti.
The coach is hoping cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who has missed the Vikings' past two games with a sprained ankle, will also get back on the field for the season finale. "We definitely need him, so we’ll see if he can practice tomorrow or after Christmas."