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Vikings Roundup, 8/12: Peterson 'Doing pretty good'

MANKATO, Minn. — Adrian Peterson is scheduled to speak with media today after practice and will likely be asked about a leg injury that sent him to the sidelines early during Tuesday's practice.

We'll have updates from the running back later today, but until then, here's a note from Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner.

"Coach Zimmer obviously gives the injury reports, but I talked to (head athletic trainer) Eric Sugarman," Turner said. "We all held our breaths for a second. Adrian is fine."

Peterson already was unlikely to play in the preseason, which gives him more than a month until the Vikings open the regular season at the 49ers on Sept. 14 on Monday Night Football.

Turner was asked how quickly Peterson looked comfortable after rejoining the team earlier this year, and said it took "about a day."

"When he got back in here and started practicing, we obviously feature the things he does best, so his recall was outstanding," Turner said. "The things we put in last summer when he was here with us. He runs extremely well. He keeps himself in great shape. He's a great, great competitor, so if someone showed up and hadn't been around for a year and went out and watched practice, I don't think they could tell you that he'd ever been away from us."

'Playing tackle football' now: Second-year pro Jerick McKinnon started in place of Peterson Sunday in the Hall of Fame Game. He turned a short catch into a 13-yard gain with a shifty move at the line of scrimmage and thumping finish against Steelers corner Antwon Blake.

It was a result that impressed Turner, who has worked in short throws in non-contact portions of the offseason program and in non-tackle training camp sessions. Turner said he likes the balance between deep threats and the high-percentage tosses, especially when they can become bigger gains.

"We throw the ball up the field a lot but we throw a lot of short, high percentage passes and all during spring and all during training camp, we're not tackling," Turner said. "The guy comes up and puts his hands on you and everyone says, 'Well he had him tackled.' And I tell our guys, when we start playing, I told them last week, 'Now we're playing tackle football.' That's what you have to do, you tackle. If you're throwing the balls we throw and you get one-on-one, you've got to make a guy miss like Jerick did, and when you make a guy miss, it turns into a big play.

"I was explaining to someone yesterday, 'I don't care if the ball is thrown 16 yards up the field to get a 16-yard gain, or thrown a yard behind the line of scrimmage to get a 16-yard gain. Those 16 yards count,' " Turner continued. "And usually if you're good at throwing to the backs and tight ends it creates opportunities to throw the ball up the field. And if you're good throwing the ball up the field, it creates opportunities to throw the ball to the backs. We may go through three games and not get big plays to the receivers but if we're being efficient and effective, those big plays will come."

Evaluation of reaction: Defensive Coordinator George Edwards said he liked what he saw from less experienced Vikings players Sunday in a game where they hadn't done much studying on the opponent. He said players showed a "transfer of what we're asking them to do fundamentally and technique-wise."

"It was good outing for us in that they got a chance to finally do it against somebody else rather than just what they been seeing out here in practice, because during the course of a game things you've prepared for during the week, there's a lot of times, you know they will change the splits, especially with receivers and corners as far as match-ups and you have to stick to your rules on things," Edwards said. "Same thing with defensive linemen, 'will they get the tight end motioning on that side?' We're pleased that they got a chance to do it but we're looking forward to keep going through this process and seeing them get more familiar with what we're asking them to do and perform."

Turn, turn, turnover: A play by Brian Peters Sunday in the Hall of Fame Game that was initially ruled an interception and changed during the game to a fumble recovery has been changed back to an interception after a review by officials.

Peters said the important part was getting the ball back for the Vikings, but he admitted there's more pride in recording an interception than recovering a fumble.

"I consider an INT or a forced fumble more of a takeaway," Peters said. "A fumble recovery is kind of like, 'Oh, I found it. I was in the right place.' But it's also a testament of being around the ball and hustling to the ball. Stats are stats, all of them are good, but I'd say an interception lies a little higher than a fumble recovery."

The play occurred late in the third quarter, one snap after a deflected pass resulted in an interception by Pittsburgh's Kevin Fogg and helped the Vikings protect a 14-3 lead.

It was a happy homecoming for Peters, who grew up in Pickerington, Ohio, about two hours from Canton, where some other family members are from. Peters had about 30 fans in the crowd in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, but it wasn't his first visit.

"We went to the parades growing up," Peters said. "Pickerington played there a few years prior to me starting high school football so I had been to the stadium before."

Packing soon: The Vikings final practice this year in Mankato is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday. Quarterbacks are scheduled to sign autographs.

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