View images from the Vikings practice on Thursday, September 24.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Wins and losses feel distinctively different.
Sometimes so do entire halves of football games.
A vivid illustration of this occurred the last time San Diego visited Minnesota in November 2007 when Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner was Chargers head coach.
Adrian Peterson was limited to 43 yards on 13 carries in the first half of his eighth pro game. What's more, the Chargers went into the locker room riding high after Antonio Cromartie returned a missed field goal an NFL record 109-yards for a touchdown and 14-7 lead.
Peterson, however, unloaded 253 yards on 17 carries in the second half for an NFL-record 296 rushing yards. Peterson and Turner were asked about their memories during media sessions Thursday.
"I remember running by him a couple of times on the sideline," Peterson said. "That was a great game, a great effort by the offense. I would say I look back on the games I've been a part of, as far as rushing the ball, that was the best game collectively I've been a part of with the offensive line and receivers dedicated to running the ball."
Peterson's first carry of the second half gained 6. His second, on third-and-2, was a 64-yard touchdown that tied the game and swayed momentum.
"What I remember was in the first half we actually, I thought, contained Adrian pretty well. He had been playing at a really high level and then the first third down of the second half, he breaks off that (64)-yard run, that's how I remember it. It all broke loose then. We couldn't get him on the ground, and he looked like a guy that was possessed."
Turner, who is in his 31st NFL season, also was on hand for the single-game receiving yards record of 336 yards on 15 catches by Flipper Anderson in a Los Angeles Rams win at New Orleans in 1989. Anderson had four catches for 85 yards in the first half, and 11 for 251 in the second half, or as Turner put it, "we had Flipper Anderson go crazy."
Fusco limited: Brandon Fusco was limited in Thursday's practice a day after he sat out. Fusco is in the NFL's concussion protocol program.
"He practiced some today," Zimmer said. "It's a work-in-progress."
The Vikings, who already have Joe Berger filling in for a mending John Sullivan (on injured reserve-designated to return because of back surgery), have plans for if Fusco is cleared to play or if he is not cleared to play.
"That's what you have to do," Turner said. "It's no different, I've been in a lot of games where the first drive, a guy you're counting on playing the whole game has to leave the game and doesn't return. You have a plan if a guy has to leave the game. It will be well-prepared either way."
Former Chargers tackle Mike Harris is playing right guard. The Vikings also have former Chargers offensive linemen Jeremiah Sirles, who was signed before the season began after teams reduced their rosters to 53 players, second-year pro Zac Kerin and rookie Austin Shepherd on the roster.
Zimmer said Sirles has been practicing at three positions, adding, "He's a big guy, keeps his feet moving, athletic, has got some toughness to him."
Injuries update:In addition to Fusco, the only other Vikings player on the injury report is Shamar Stephen (knee) fully participated.
For the Chargers, S Jahleel Addae (ankle), WR/KR Jacoby Jones (ankle), G Johnnie Troutman (forearm) and LB Tourek Williams (foot) did not participate Thursday. G/T D.J. Fluker (ankle), C Chris Watt (groin) and TE Ladarius Green (concussion) were listed as limited participants. LB Kyle Emanuel (shoulder) and G/T Chris Hairston (knee) fully participated a second straight day. CB Jason Verrett (foot) was added to the report Thursday but listed as a full participant.
The lighter side: Last week, Peterson opened his media session by riddling reporters with, "30 cows in a pen, 28 chickens. How many didn't?"
The play on words was eventually revealed that 20 ate chickens, so 10 didn't. This week, however, the talk shifted from the farm to the great outdoors when Brian Robison stepped into the mix with his "96 Questions with B-Rob" segment. Robison asked Peterson and other teammates if they'd rather fight a grizzly bear or three wolves.
"A grizzly bear or three wolves? Wow," Peterson said. "Would I have to fight? Could I run?"
Robison said, "No, you have to fight. If you run, it turns into seven grizzly bears and 26 wolves."
Peterson replied he'd run anyway and "take my chances against the grizzly bears and run in a zigzag. With the wolves, the strength of the wolves is the pack, so I don't want to go against the wolves."
Peterson on the ballot: Peterson's 29-carry, 134-yard performance Sunday against Detroit in his first home game since December 2013 garnered a nomination for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week. Click here to vote for Peterson.
New jerseys: According to data from nflshop.com, Teddy Bridgewater had the 23rd most-purchased jersey from Sept. 10-21. Bridgewater was one of 10 quarterbacks in the top 25.
Here's the full list:
1. Tom Brady
2. Dez Bryant
3. Odell Beckham Jr.
4. Rob Gronkowski
5. Jarryd Hayne
6. Aaron Rodgers
7. Jason Witten
8. Marcus Mariota
9. Russell Wilson
10. Tony Romo
11. Colin Kaepernick
12. J.J. Watt
13. Peyton Manning
14. Antonio Brown
15. Marshawn Lynch
16. Julian Edelman
17. Andrew Luck
18. Ryan Tannehill
19. 12th Fan
20. Clay Matthews
21. NaVorro Bowman
22. Luke Kuechly
23. Teddy Bridgewater
24. Drew Brees
25. Julio Jones