The Minnesota Vikings stand at 4-9-1 after a surprising win against the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday. The Vikings accomplished this feat without Adrian Peterson in the backfield, as the superstar had been battling a nagging groin injury for weeks. It isn’t likely that Peterson is fully healthy after sitting out just one week, but Leslie Frazier did say to reporters on Monday that he expects Peterson to be back for the Vikings’ Week 16 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Peterson, however, is an important part of the Vikings’ offense and considering he will be around for as long as he’s healthy and productive, his health and longevity are the most important things for the Vikings right now. This means starting Toby Gerhart these last two games and limiting Peterson to just a dozen touches a game to reduce the risk of injury.
Peterson has proven to be a very competitive person since entering the NFL, and would likely not be okay with sitting out the remainder of the season. Keeping your stars happy is important for team success, so playing Peterson in a limited role, while also helping out the free-agent-to- beGerhart would be the best move by the Minnesota coaching staff.
Although it hurts to say, the Vikings would also be better off losing these next two games, as there are just a few top quarterbacks in the upcoming draft class, and the more losses the Vikings accumulate, the more likely they are to grab one early. Peterson is obviously the best running back on the Vikings’ roster, and giving him the vast majority of the carries would only help the Vikings win, which at this point in the season, are almost counterproductive.
Although Frazier and some of his assistants won’t be back in 2014, the Vikings’ future would be better served if Peterson was to take a backseat to Gerhart these coming weeks, a back whose proven to be worthy of first team touches.