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Updated: September 6th, 2012 4:32pm
Decision on whether Adrian Peterson will play will come before Sunday

Decision on whether Adrian Peterson will play will come before Sunday

by Judd Zulgad
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier acknowledged that a decision on whether Adrian Peterson will play in the regular-season opener on Sunday against Jacksonville won't really be made on game day.

"I think we'll know Saturday where things are," Frazier said after Thursday's practice. "I don't think we'd work him out pregame to see if he's ready to play. We'd have a good idea after we get through with Friday where he stands."

Frazier said a determination would be made by Vikings officials and medical personnel on Friday night or Saturday morning. Frazier had said for the past week that a call on Peterson would be made on game day.

Peterson, who tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee last Dec. 24 against Washington and underwent surgery Dec. 30, said earlier Thursday that he sees no reason why he shouldn't play but acknowledged that isn't going to be only his call.

Frazier certainly wasn't willing to make any announcement on the situation Thursday.

"I don't want to be conclusive on Thursday," Frazier said. "We need to get through some things. We'll watch this tape and see what he does (Friday) as well."

The Vikings have been very cautious with Peterson, having him open training camp on the active/physically-unable-to-perform list. Peterson was brought off that list on Aug. 12 but did not play in the preseason.

He took contact in practice for the first time last week and had his workload increased beginning in practice on Wednesday. Peterson has made it clear all preseason that his intention was to be back for the opener.

Frazier said Peterson "had a good day" in practice Thursday. Peterson has been a limited participant in both practices this week.

"I asked him this morning, did he wake up sore and tired and beat up?" Frazier said. "He said, 'No, no, no, I felt pretty good.' So we'll see how he does (Friday) but today he had a good day."

Asked if the ultra-competitive Peterson would volunteer the fact he was sore, Frazier said: "Who knows? Probably not. I doubt if he would."

The Vikings have been in charge of and monitored Peterson's rehab from surgery every step of the way, but still Frazier said this week is important in getting an idea of where he's at in his progress.

"We're doing some things a little bit different with him as we prepare for this game, so we would definitely notice a few things different if he weren't handling them very well," Frazier said. "It would show up. We'll go back and watch this tape from practice and sit down and talk with him again (Friday) and see where we are."

Frazier did not go into specifics but indicated some of the things Peterson is being asked to do this week in practice are more game-like.

"Some of the plays that we are using and some of the things that we're asking him to do for the game plan are different than what we asked him to do when he was going through his rehab and training camp and coming to practice," Frazier said. "The runs and activity we're asking him are a little bit different than what we did say two weeks ago when he practiced for the Texans game."

Frazier continued to stress that if Peterson does play Sunday it would be in a reduced role.

As for whether Peterson has shown he can cut and react to game-like situations, Frazier said: "Everything we've asked him to do thus far he's been able to get it done to the point where you believe he's functioning properly. But we want to do some things with him (Friday) as well and see how he does in those situations. We've got some different things that we'll do (Friday) and see what he does."

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
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