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Adrian Peterson encourages 'great all-around player' Jamaal Charles

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Adrian Peterson has been impressed over the years with the way fellow Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles has cut around the corners of the offense.

The respect Peterson has for Charles might prompt the Viking to help the Chief turn the corner this offseason as Charles works his way back from the second torn ACL of his career.

Charles' injury happened Sunday against Chicago and ended his season, which was disappointing for Peterson.

"I was looking forward to that, getting out there and seeing him run the ball as well," Peterson said. "It was very unfortunate. He's a hard worker. I know him personally and wish him well."

Peterson said he reached out to Chiefs running backs coach Eric Bieniemy, who coached Peterson in Minnesota from 2007-10. 

"I had the chance to talk to EB a little bit and of course those guys are taking it hard, but I just wish him well," Peterson said. "Hopefully I'm able to link up with him in the offseason if God is willing and work together and help push him back."

Peterson can relate to Charles, having suffered a torn ACL in 2011, the same season that Charles suffered his first serious knee injury. Peterson returned in 2012 with 2,097 rushing yards (second all-time), and Charles posted 1,509 yards that season.

Peterson, who is leading the NFL with 93 rushing yards per game, said Charles is "a guy that's gifted in so many different areas."

"He's fast. I remember him from back home in Texas," Peterson said. "He's always had the blazing speed, quick feet, explosive and just great instincts. He's a great all-around player. When I watch him, there's not many backs I watch and I'm like, 'Wow, that was nice,' but when I watch him, there's different cuts and different moves he puts on guys that makes me like, 'Ok, let me make sure I'm still on top of my game.' "

Charles ranked fifth in the NFL this season with 541 yards from scrimmage (364 rushing, 177 passing) and third with 31 first downs obtained. Related:Chiefs **options** moving forward.

Peterson, meanwhile, has two games with more than 100 yards this season, both in home victories, and has showcased explosiveness with back-to-back games with a touchdown of more than 40 yards, using a stiff-arm and cutback against the Chargers and sprinting at a top speed of **21.89 mph** at Denver.

"He looks good to me. I mean, [Offensive Coordinator] Norv [Turner] and I talk about it all the time when we see him running the football," Zimmer said. "It's pretty special."

Receivers recovered?

Zimmer told beat writers Thursday he assumes all six receivers will be available for Sunday's game. The Vikings called on reserves Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs in Week 4 because Charles Johnson was out with a ribs injury and Jarius Wright was limited with a hand injury. Thielen and Diggs responded with six catches apiece.

Mike Wallace suffered a helmet to his knee at Denver and was limited in practice Thursday, along with Johnson. Wright was a full participant a second straight day.

"I still feel it, but it's nothing that's going to limit me too much. I was able to do everything they asked me to do," Johnson said about Wednesday's practice before hitting the field Thursday. "It's a game-time decision. I'm preparing like I'm going to play. We'll see. We've all got to decide if I'm looking right, if I'm going to be feeling right and prepared right to play this Sunday."

Turner said the Vikings like the depth that receivers have shown.

"You can't ask to be in a better position," Turner said. "When you have two guys get hurt and the guys that go in and play for them catch six balls, we've got a good group of guys and throughout the year we're going to need them all."

Zimmer said he's encouraging all passing targets to be prepared because different opponents' coverages may cause the ball to go to different places each week.

"The thing I keep telling them is you never know when it's going to be your day, where the coverages roll to," Zimmer said. "Even though you might have some plays called for Wallace, it might end up being [Kyle] Rudolph, so you've got to stay patient. I didn't think going into the game that Wallace would have eight catches or something like that, so you've just got to keep going and playing."

Locked inside the 20: Vikings punter Jeff Locke, the protection scheme and coverage unit have combined to allow four yards on five punts returned by opponents this season. The 0.8 yards per return ranks first in the NFL, and Locke ranks 11th with a career best net average of 41.4.

"He's punting the ball very well. He's kept them pinned back with a lot of inside the 20 punts," Zimmer said. "There's a couple of times in the last game where we were backed up and he hit some good ones, so we want him to continue what he's doing."

Locke has located nine of his 16 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard-line, a rate of 56.3 percent that is second highest in the NFL and hasn't suffered a touchback.

Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer said Locke is calibrating wind conditions that are different on game days than they are in practices and determining the most applicable punt style.

"He checks on when he has to use his Aussie punt or if he still uses a field punt, depending on certain areas of the field," Priefer said. "He's a very intelligent guy, I'm trying to help him to not overthink things. When it comes to when to use the Aussie punt or the field punt, that's really helped him.

"Our goal is just a fair catch at the 10 [yard line], and that's pretty much what he's done," Priefer said. "I'm not asking him to pin them at the 3 [yard line], because if you do that, you're playing with fire, the ball is going to go into the end zone most of the time. We tell him we want a fair catch at the 10, that's our goal and anything else is a bonus."

Injury reports: For the Vikings, Justin Trattou (foot) did not participate. Wallace, Johnson and Andrew Sendejo (knee) were limited. Wright and Jabari Price (shoulder) fully participated. Rhett Ellison (knee) was added as limited Thursday.

For the Chiefs: LB Josh Mauga (groin/Achilles) and NT Dontari Poe (ankle) did not participate for a second straight day. CB Jamell Fleming (elbow), TE Travis Kelce (groin/neck) and TE James O'Shaughnessy (hand) fully participated. TE Brian Parker (finger) and LB Tamba Hali (knee) were added to the report Thursday. Parker fully participated, but Hali did not participate.

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