Frazier Provides Injury Updates, Talks Running Game and More

Posted Oct 25, 2013

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier

Matt Asiata, Rhett Ellison, Josh Freeman, and Rodney Smith are probably not going to make it for this ballgame. Fred Evans tweaked his knee a little bit yesterday but he should be fine. We are going to see how he feels tomorrow morning, but other than that everybody else worked well and practiced well and looking forward to this football game at home in front of our fans on Sunday night.

Q: With Blair, is there any restrictions on him with his injury that he is still recovering from?

A: He still has a little bit of tightness but not anything that would keep him from doing what he has to do.

Q: Can Blair do kickoffs this week?

A: Haven’t decided yet.

Q: Is Ponder going to start against the packers?

A: Yes.

Q: Freeman did some work in the session of practice we are able to see. How much was he able to do today overall?

A: That was it. He did a little bit of work today. He was cleared this morning but that was about it. He didn’t do that much but he did something.

Q: Do you anticipate that he will able to practice next week regularly?

A: We do, based on the fact that he was able to practice today. Yes.

Q: Will you make him inactive for Sunday, and Matt Cassel the backup?

A: Yes.

Q: How big of a loss to your running game is Rhett Ellison, who has struggled to stay healthy this year?

A: Yeah he is a big loss. We count on Rhett in the run game quite a bit so to not have him; it definitely makes a difference with some of the things we want to do. But that gives some other guys an opportunity to step up and do a good job as well. But he is a big part of our run offense.

Q: Does it change how or what plays are called?

A: Yes and no. We still run some of the same plays and we still want to be as effective as we were. We may not go to the same spot but they’re the same plays. But he definitely makes a difference for us.

Q: Can you talk about the offensive line and their struggles this year, averaging a yard less running the ball and giving up a few more sacks; what is the difference this year in the play of the line?

A: With our run game the fact that we are averaging a yard less than we were this time a year ago; one of the things that you have to keep in mind with the run game, is its more than the offensive line. They are a major part of our run offense, without question. But our tight ends, whether it be Rhett, or Kyle, or John Carlson, those guys are a big part of our offense as well. Along with our wide receivers the way we do it. We count on those guys getting a good block on safeties, and corners as well to help us spring runs. When we have breakdowns it is not necessarily, even in pass protection, not necessarily all the offensive line. We count on our backs to help us in protection, and we count on our tight ends to help us in protection at times as well. To answer your question there are some things that we can definitely improve with our offensive line but there are other areas also that are a part of one of the reasons that we are not running the ball as effectively as we did a season ago.

Q: Adrian Peterson said that everyone needs to be more physical. Do you think that a lot of his comments are directed at the offensive line?

A: If he didn’t get specific, I probably won’t get specific either.  I didn’t read his quote, but we do need to be more physical up front, a matter of fact we talked about that this week on both sides of the ball we want to be more physical than we have been. I don’t know if he was specifically talking about them, but we do need to be more physical up front and in some other areas as well.

Q: How is Jerome Felton looked in that area since he came back?

A: I think he has gotten better each snap that he has got. We didn’t have him much in the Carolina game, he played more in the New York game, and we hope to get him on the field more in this next game. Each game that he has been out there he has gotten a little bit better. I think that based on the way he has practiced this week, this should be his best game, so he has a good week of practice.

Q: Coming back from the suspension, do you think Jerome had a period of getting re-acclimated for him?

A: I think so, when you talk about games, just getting back in the flow of games. The fact that he couldn’t practice with us during that time either although he could come to meetings, it has to have some type of effect when it comes to the timing and the contact that is involved at his position. But he has gotten better, and like I said, I think with the week of practice that he has had, he should have a great game on Sunday night.