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Updated: December 22nd, 2011 4:06pm
Notebook: Adrian Peterson said comments 'taken out of proportion'

Notebook: Adrian Peterson said comments 'taken out of proportion'

by Judd Zulgad
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson did not attempt to hide the fact he wasn't pleased about getting only 10 carries after last Sunday's 42-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

On Thursday, Peterson changed his tune and said he felt his comments about the situation got "taken out proportion."

The game was Peterson's first after he sat out the previous three because a high left ankle sprain.

"I feel like it really did," get blown out of proportion, Peterson said. "Of course, like I said, I would have loved to get some more carries. But then again, we got down by 21 so fast. So, I knew -- I've been in the league for a long time and even before I got into the league, when you're down by 21, you're not going to be running the ball.

"But that (doesn't) take away from what I felt. I would have loved to have gotten the ball more, but I couldn't, (given) the situation and I feel like people just looked at that the wrong way."

Peterson rushed for only 60 yards and it was clear on a 39-yard run in the second quarter that he did not have his normal breakaway speed.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said he spoke with Peterson about the situation and that the veteran understands.

"We're going to be smart with his health," Musgrave said. "I think we could all assess that he wasn't himself, even on the big run in short yardage. We'll hope that he's improved this week and if he has, and we feel more comfortable about giving him a bigger workload, we will."

Peterson, who is 105 yards from breaking Robert Smith's franchise rushing record of 6,818 yards, is no longer on the injury report and said he will be close to 100 percent entering Saturday's game at Washington.

"It's feeling good," he said. "A little soreness, I kind of expect that, but (I'm) ready to roll."

Frazier said Peterson was more comfortable on the field Thursday than he had been on Wednesday.

"We'd like to give him a few more carries for sure," Frazier said. "But we do also want to mix Toby (Gerhart) in there. He did a good job for us. But we do want to get Adrian more carries."

'Out of nowhere'

Jared Allen is five sacks away from tying Michael Strahan's single-season NFL record of 22.5 set in 2001.

While the Vikings defensive end would love to break that mark in the final two games, his primary focus when it comes to quarterback takedowns is simply reclaiming the league lead.

Philadelphia defensive end Jason Babin has eight sacks in the past three games to take over the lead with 18. That is one-half more than Allen's total.

"Babin came out of nowhere these last two weeks," Allen said. "Babin was drafted in the same class as me (2004) and had six (sacks) in the last two weeks. That was my first focus was to lead the league in sacks, so we'll see what happens."

Coach Leslie Frazier said this week that the Vikings are, "going to do our very best to see (Allen) lead the league in sacks and hopefully break that record."

Allen's play has been one of the few positives in this 2-12 season for the franchise.

The Vikings' single-season sacks record is 21 by Chris Doleman in 1989. Allen's previous career high was 15½ with Kansas City in 2007.

"I'm not doing anything different," Allen said of his approach to trying to get the record. "I've been thinking about it since I came into the league. It's been one of those things where you go out and do what you can do and try to make things happen."

The Vikings' loss last Sunday marked only the third game this season in which Allen did not have a hand in any sacks. Despite his success, he said there have been missed opportunities.

"I missed one in Detroit that I had in my arms," he said. "I got close a couple of times last week where (Saints quarterback Drew Brees) shifted out. You can go back through and second-guess (misses) throughout the whole season all the time."

Allen, who went the first nine games this season having a hand in getting to the quarterback, acknowledges his sack total is "huge" for a season.

"You have to be consistent," he said. "Just to get the number I've gotten is phenomenal, just for how sacks usually happen. Usually, they are really streaky. ... I've never had that many games in a row with sacks. I've never had this many sacks in my career. For me, it's all been surreal. It's been fun."

The injury report

Cornerback Asher Allen and left guard Steve Hutchinson, who are both dealing with concussions, missed practice for a second consecutive day Thursday and it's looking more and more likely as if they will miss Saturday's game.

Neither has been able to past the tests that players must get through to return from a concussion.

The Vikings had four players limited in practice, including guard Anthony Herrera (knee), safety Jarrad Page (hamstring), defensive tackle Kevin Williams (knee) and linebacker Erin Henderson (illness).

The plan at cornerback

With Allen likely to sit, Benny Sapp probably will start at one cornerback spot Saturday. The other starter is anyone's guess, but it appears more than one player could see time.

Cedric Griffin could get back in, although that seems like a long shot given how far out of favor he's fallen. Rookie Brandon Burton or Marcus Sherels also are candidates to play outside. The other will be used inside in the nickel.

Frazier said a discussion about who will play would take place Thursday afternoon. "We're probably going to rotate and we'll make that decision here pretty soon," he said.

Changing it up

With only two victories this season and a shortened week that saw a day of practice cut out, Frazier decided to have the first-team offense do some work against the first-team defense in Thursday's practice.

That is rare for this time of year.

"We created some internal competition," he said. "We did a few plays where we did a competitive practice. Ordinarily we just work -- whoever the opponent is -- some of their plays.

"But this time we decided to create a situation where it was Vikings vs. Vikings. I don't really want to get into the situation but it was good. It created a lot of fire and emotion so it was positive."

Asked who won, Frazier said: "I can't pick sides, so they both won. We achieved the goal and that was to pep things up a little bit."

Quick hits

• The Vikings employed a package last Sunday that had Joe Webb at quarterback and Ponder in the backfield. Musgrave said there is an eight or 10 play package for that, adding, "we only scratched the surface with it."

• Tackle Jammal Brown (groin), linebacker London Fletcher (ankle), running back Roy Helu (toe, knee) and fullback Mike Sellers (elbow) were limited in practice for the second day in a row for Washington.

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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