Eagles play waiting game with Adrian Peterson
There are many unanswered questions about Sunday’s matchup with the Vikings, but the Eagles can rest assured they won’t have to worry about snow.
The biggest unknown is still the availability of reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson, who sprained his right foot last week against the Ravens. Peterson shed the walking boot he had worn the last few days on Wednesday, but has yet to return to practice.
“He can do things that most can’t, in terms of coming back from injuries,” Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said. “We were walking up the stairs a few minutes ago, and I said, ‘Hey, what do you think?’ He said, ‘I’ll be ready, coach, don’t worry about me.’ That’s Adrian.”
The Vikings are also dealing with an injury to Peterson’s backup, Toby Gerhart, who strained his hamstring last week.
But the Eagles are being as careful as you’d expect to not count on both, or either, tailback being out of Sunday’s matchup.
“We still have to go out and play solid football,” linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. “We still have to play our defense the way we know how to play it. They have a good offensive line, good fullback [and] good guys who can block well. [They] still have guys capable of running the ball so we have to do our job.”
The Vikings are ranked No. 7 in the league in rushing offense, though their yards per attempt average (4.9) is tied for the league lead. With Peterson and Gerhart out of commission, their offense would be decimated.
“How much they are committed to running the ball, that’s what stands out to me,” Ryans said. “You know they’re running it, they know they’re running it, so they’re just going to line up and just ‘big boy’ you — push you out of the way and just run the ball right at you. … It’s going to be a physical game.”
Ryans minded his bulletin board material when asked if he still holds that opinion without Peterson.
“I’m not sure,” he said. “We’re ready for the run game because that’s what they’ve relied on for so much.”
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.