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Updated: November 30th, 2011 12:16pm
Adrian Peterson could play Sunday; surgery for Jenkins, Johnson

Adrian Peterson could play Sunday; surgery for Jenkins, Johnson

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings aren't ruling out Adrian Peterson for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.

Coach Leslie Frazier said on Wednesday morning the All-Pro halfback wouldn't practice in the afternoon as he continued to recover from a high ankle sprain and ligament damage he suffered on Nov. 20 against Oakland.

But the plan was for Peterson to do some work on the side with athletic trainers during practice, Frazier said, and there's a chance he could participate in at least a limited portion of practice on Thursday.

"You want to make sure that he can protect himself, that he can get out of trouble," Frazier said. "If the hole's closed, that he can bounce through the things he has ordinarily done. If he can't do that in our evaluation, we can't put him out there. He's too valuable to our organization and our team.

"So, we'll see where he is day to day, and hopefully, by Friday, we'll have a better indication of can he get on the field and do some things like the Adrian that we know."

If Peterson can't play, the assumption is Toby Gerhart would be the primary ball-carrier for the second consecutive week.

Right guard Anthony Hererra (knee) and tight end Kyle Rudolph (quadriceps) also have a chance to return on Sunday, Frazier said.

Meanwhile, two of the four players the Vikings put on injured reserve on Tuesday are headed for surgery.

Starting receiver Michael Jenkins has a torn meniscus in one of his knees and was set to undergo surgery on Thursday.

"For him, it's going to be an extended time for him to come back," Frazier said of Jenkins, who ranks second on the team with 38 catches for 466 yards and three touchdowns.

"Big loss. He was really playing well for us. He was a guy that Christian (Ponder) was really getting comfortable with, made some plays for us and it's a tough loss."

Reserve safety Tyrell Johnson suffered an even more serious injury -- a hamstring tendon avulsion that will require surgery on Wednesday and require a six-month recovery.

Johnson had taken over the starting spot of Husain Abdullah, who also was placed on injured reserve as a precaution following of his second concussion in less than a month. Rookie Mistral Raymond likely will take over as the starter opposite Jamarca Sanford, although newly signed veteran Jarrad Page has a chance to play on Sunday as well, Frazier said.

It's unclear how the Vikings will rotate receivers without Jenkins, but Frazier indicated backup quarterback Joe Webb will get a look along with Percy Harvin, Devin Aromashodu, Greg Camarillo and rookie Stephen Burton, who was re-signed on Tuesday.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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