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Notebook: Adrian Peterson on Rehab & Recovery Process

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —Adrian Peterson was one of five Vikings players who did not participate in Wednesday's practice.

Peterson played 12 plays on Sunday against Indianapolis in his first game action since suffering a torn meniscus in Week 2 against Green Bay.

"I took today to do some rehab and recover," said Peterson, who is listed on the injury report with knee and groin injuries.

The early-deficit circumstances of the 34-6 loss to the Colts led to Peterson playing less and the Vikings throwing the ball more to try to get back in the game. 

"It held up good. The day after, I felt a couple of nicks here and there. That's why I'm doing what I'm doing now in the training room to recover," said Peterson, who played in a knee brace three months to the day of his injury.

Asked about his status for Saturday's game at Lambeau Field, Peterson said, "I'm just taking it one day at a time, resting up. Like I said, I just came out with a couple of nicks and I'm just taking it one day at a time to see how I feel."

Peterson has 72 yards on 37 carries a season removed from winning his third rushing title.

Unique in approach

Last Sunday's game also was the first in which Peterson had played for interim offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Peterson was asked about what makes Shurmur different from other coordinators he's played for.

"I would say what makes him different, I think any scheme could work with him, but just how he addresses players, the communication part," Peterson said. "Being able to relate to the players and talk to them, putting guys in the right position and doing what other guys are comfortable with doing. Talking to all the players and coming to a common ground, doing it his way of course, but still being loose to be open to other opinions from players. That's what I've noticed in the short time of being with him."

Finding a nickel rush

The Vikings placed veteran Tom Johnson on injured reserve this week and signed Toby Johnson to the 53-man roster. Tom Johnson has thrived as an interior rusher in the Vikings nickel defense since arriving in 2014, totaling 14 sacks.

"He's a good inside rusher and he's added a lot, too, especially in the nickel package," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday.

The Packers frequently use a three-receiver set, prompting the nickel defense out of opponents.

In that look, the Vikings have kicked Brian Robison inside to a defensive tackle spot and brought in Danielle Hunter to join Everson Griffen in bookending the line.

Minnesota knows the importance of pressuring Aaron Rodgers, having sacked the Packers quarterback five times each in the past two Vikings victories, in addition to maintaining rush lanes.

Asked about supplementing the interior rush, Zimmer said, "We're going to have to continue to find some more ways to do that."

Proud moment

Xavier Rhodes has been one of the most impactful players at cornerback this season, and that was recognized when fans, players and coaches selected him to his first Pro Bowl.

Rhodes also has been one of the most improved players since Zimmer's arrival in 2014 and under the guidance of a former Pro Bowler, defensive backs coach Jerry Gray, in that same time span.

Zimmer is keeping the focus on the team but did admit, "Of the guys that made it, I'm most proud of him, of the way that he's kind of continued to improve."

Rhodes has four interceptions this season, including one he returned 100 yards for a touchdown against Arizona.

Zimmer said the fourth-year corner's improvements go beyond ball skills.

"Everybody sees that part," Zimmer said. "It's the other parts – he's a very good tackler, he's improved his techniques in both off and bump-and-run, and I think he's starting to get better at understanding more of the game."

In addition to Rhodes, Griffen, safety Harrison Smith and return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson were selected to the Pro Bowl.

View images from the Vikings Wednesday, December 21 practice at Winter Park.

Injury reports

In addition to Peterson, Stefon Diggs (hip), Laquon Treadwell (ankle), Brandon Fusco (concussion) and Smith (ankle) did not participate. Zach Line (concussion), Mackensie Alexander (abdomen) and Trae Waynes (concussion) were limited. Charles Johnson (knee), Jeremiah Sirles (ankle) and Marcus Sherels fully participated.

For Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers (calf) and LB Clay Matthews (shoulder) were both full particpants in practice but were listed on the injury report Wednesday. WR Randall Cobb (ankle) G T.J. Lang (foot/back), LB Nick Perry (hand), CB Damarious Randall (shoulder) G Lane Taylor (hip) and C/G J.C. Tretter (knee) were all limited participants in practice Wednesday. LB Jayrone Elliott (hand) and RB James Starks (concussion) did not particpate in practice Wednesday.

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