Adrian Peterson arrives late, mars another big day with big turnover
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CHICAGO -- Adrian Peterson's day got off to a rough start. It didn't get much better once he finally arrived at Soldier Field.
The Minnesota Vikings' star halfback was late arriving for Sunday's NFC North Division showdown against Chicago and had two costly miscues in a 28-10 loss.
"We're not going to discuss that," Peterson said, when asked about his late arrival. "Me and Coach actually haven't had an opportunity to talk about it. It wasn't a big deal. I came out and played.
"What's important is, what can we do to come back and get back on track? That's going to be our main focus."
The Vikings require players to be in the locker room 2 hours before game time. Peterson wasn't on either of the team's buses, and the Pioneer Press reported he was seen getting into a cab around 10 a.m. before the noon kickoff.
Coach Leslie Frazier declined to discuss specifics but acknowledged "(t)here's something that Adrian and I have to talk about regarding getting to the stadium."
Asked if he considered not starting Peterson as punishment, Frazier said, "No."
Peterson, who entered the game with an NFL-best 1,128 rushing yards, finished with 18 carries for 108 yards (6.0 average) -- his fifth straight game over the 100-yard mark.
But the performance was marred by Peterson's third fumble of season, which came with the Vikings ahead 3-0 in the first quarter and having just forced a punt.
Linebacker Nick Roach stripped Peterson on an inside run and cornerback Charles Tillman fell on the ball, setting up a six-play, 34-yard touchdown drive that gave Chicago a 7-3 lead it never relinquished.
"I let it get kind of loose cutting back to the left," Peterson said. "I don't know if I switched the ball mid-cut into the right hand. A guy came from behind. I don't know. It just came out.
"I think that was a case of too focused and not focused on the biggest thing first, and that's protecting the ball. So, kind of got it away and they was able to make a big play on it."
Peterson's previous fumbled 16 times over the 2008 and '09 seasons but entered Sunday with only four since the start of 2010.
He also took responsibility for a botched exchange with quarterback Christian Ponder that led to another turnover midway through the fourth quarter, with the Vikings at midfield and trying desperately to play catchup.
"Just hit my chest and bounced off," Peterson said.