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Updated: September 27th, 2012 3:56pm
Adrian Peterson says 25 carries vs. 49ers helped knock off the rust

Adrian Peterson says 25 carries vs. 49ers helped knock off the rust

by Judd Zulgad
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Adrian Peterson had 33 rushing attempts in the Vikings' first two games, but he said he did not feel as if he had knocked off the rust until Sunday against San Francisco when he carried 25 times for 86 yards.

"The previous two weeks I woke up on Monday and my body felt great, a little soreness in my knee," Peterson said. "I woke up Monday after this game, and I felt like I played some football. I feel like the rust is knocked off now. That's what I needed and I'll be ready to roll even better."

Peterson underwent surgery in late December to repair torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee that he suffered in a win at Washington. He began training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list and did not play in any preseason games.

He has 230 yards rushing on 58 attempts with two touchdowns in three games and has caught six passes for 44 yards. Peterson is asked weekly about how his knee is feeling and has admitted he's not yet 100 percent.

"I'm feeling good, I'm feeling good," he said. "Trust me, I'm going to let you guys know when I'm 100 percent. I'll come in and that will be the first thing I say. But I'm feeling good each week with the wear and tear that I'm getting during the game. I'm able to recover. The first couple days of the week it's feeling stronger each time so I'm in a good place."

Peterson said that it won't necessarily be anything he does on the field that tells him he's back to 100 percent. "It's just me knowing my body," he said. "When I look in the mirror, I'm like, 'OK, my right leg is obviously bigger than my left.' I know it's not as strong as far as different things that I do. That's when I'll be able to tell, when I won't be able to tell the difference between the strength of both legs."

While Peterson got 25 carries last Sunday, he did not get the ball for any of the final eight rushing plays the Vikings attempted. Those carries went to Toby Gerhart, who was charged with three fumbles and lost two of them during that time.

Clearly, the Vikings coaches felt Peterson had done enough for the day.

Asked if the Vikings need to do a better job of managing Peterson's carries, Frazier said: "I don't know if we have to do a better job of managing (his carries). We knew what the numbers were and where he was and we got to a point where we said, 'The game's in hand.'

"We could have easily went more if we wanted to. He felt like he could have gone more. But where we were in the game, we thought we had it in hand. The fumbles you can't predict, but we had confidence in Toby that he'd go back in there and hold onto the ball. If we get in that situation again we'd put Toby back out there. We believe he can get it done."

Frazier said the Vikings "have never sat down," and put a figure on a set number of carries for Peterson.

"We talked during the week that we could give him more and we did that, based on what we saw in practice, what he was telling us," Frazier said. "We did give him more in the San Francisco game. This week he feels just as good as he did a week ago, so we'll see how the game goes (Sunday)." 

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Toby Gerhart, Adrian Peterson
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