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No Need to Panic over Peterson Injury

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September 19, 2016

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Adrian Peterson’s right knee injury and possible absence for future games seems unlikely to derail the Vikings’ goal of winning a second consecutive NFC North Division championship.

Adrian Peterson (photo courtesy of Minnesota Vikings)

Adrian Peterson (photo courtesy of Minnesota Vikings)

Peterson had to leave last night’s Vikings-Packers game because of what has been diagnosed as a torn meniscus. Head coach Mike Zimmer said this afternoon more evaluation about Peterson is ahead including determining whether he can practice this week and if he will miss games next Sunday and beyond.

The Vikings won a 17-14 game over their primary division rival with Peterson rushing for only 19 yards. The Vikings, now 2-0, won their opening game against the Titans with Peterson rushing for 31 yards. Defenses have been crowding the line of scrimmage and while runs have been mostly unsuccessful, sometimes Peterson’s presence creates opportunities for the passing game.

In today’s NFL emphasizing pass defenders, quarterbacks and receivers, even future Hall of Famer runners like the 31-year-old Peterson can see their importance lessened. The Vikings probably have at least four players more vital to winning another division title and advancing in the playoffs than Peterson.

Those players are defensive end Everson Griffen, safety Harrison Smith, quarterback Sam Bradford and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Griffen, Smith and Diggs were known as high impact players going into last night’s game, while Bradford, in his first game for the Vikings since being acquired earlier this month from the Eagles, joined the group.

Bradford held his ground in the pocket and was impressive completing passes, including what looked like low percentage touchdown throws to Diggs and tight end Kyle Rudolph. His passing may have been the most eye-catching by a Vikings quarterback since Brett Favre was here several years ago.

Bradford’s potential continued success, of course, is huge for the Vikings because starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is out for the season. The Vikings hope that Bradford, 29, can not only perform but stay healthy with only 36-year-old reserve Shaun Hill in reserve.

Vikings defensive back Captain Munnerlyn told Sports Headliners he regards Peterson as the best runner in the league but the team expects to keep winning when it loses players. “We’re not a one-man show. It’s a team thing,” he said.

The Vikings defense has been extraordinary in two wins so far—even creating turnovers and scoring points while encouraging the notion that few other units in the NFL are better. Defensive end Brian Robison said the defense is ready to help if the Vikings are without Peterson.

“Us as a defense, we’re gonna put it on our shoulders and we’re gonna make sure that we do whatever we can do in order to put the offense in a good position,” Robison said. “Hopefully keep creating turnovers and get them in good field position. …”

Worth Noting

Bradford talking about the noisy fan support last night at U.S. Bank Stadium: “That’s one of the best atmospheres I’ve probably every played in. …They (the Packers) were having a hard time communicating. I think there were times we were having a hard time communicating because it was so loud in there.

“It’s fun when you get to play in an atmosphere like that. It’s not an every-week thing. You don’t get to play in front of crowds like that all the time, so when you do it’s really special.”

U.S. Bank Stadium

U.S. Bank Stadium

The five giant pivoting doors were open for last night’s debut regular season game at U.S. Bank Stadium because it was important to the Vikings management, according to a stadium source. The announced temperature inside the stadium at kickoff was 77 degrees, about five degrees more than if the doors were closed and the air conditioning didn’t have to contend so much with outside heat and humidity.

The Super Bowl quality halftime show that included the Minnesota Orchestra required about 200 people including support personnel. Twelve minutes was allocated for total time.

The Vikings are now 6-11 against Aaron Rodgers when he is the starting quarterback for the Packers. He has thrown 36 touchdown passes in those games.

The Packers opened the season at Jacksonville, then came to Minneapolis for last night’s game. It’s the first time since 1924 the Packers have played their first two regular season games on the road.

Right now it looks like Moritz Bohringer, the 22-year-old wide receiver from Aalen, Germany who never played college football, is probably a long shot to develop an NFL career. He is on the Vikings’ practice squad but there is no guarantee he will keep his spot, or be activated to the playing roster.

Former Vikings kicker Fred Cox will (for a fee) sign memorabilia and pose for photos on Saturday from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Southtown Shopping Center in Bloomington. His appearance is part of the two-day Saturday-Sunday Triple Crown Sports Collectibles show. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Big Ten schools, including Minnesota, receive equal shares of conference TV revenues. A new TV deal is expected to give the Gophers and the other 13 schools $45 to $50 million each on an annual basis.

However, there are big differences between schools in revenues such as ticket receipts. A Big Ten source told Sports Headliners Ohio State had $45.5 million in football ticket revenues last year, while the Gophers generated $12.5 million. Ohio State’s radio rights partner pays the Buckeyes $14 million, while the Gophers receive $7.5 million.

The Korn Ferry firm working on the Twins search for an executive to lead its baseball operations is headquartered in Los Angeles but has an office in Minneapolis. A former search industry leader praised Korn Ferry in an email to Sports Headliners.

“(The) Twins have hired one of the best firms to handle the search for their top baseball job,” he wrote. “Korn Ferry is often used to find CEOs for the largest companies in the nation. …”

“A search firm brings objectivity and confidentiality to the search that other means don’t offer. Relying on referrals and contacts from the baseball fraternity misses both of those important points. Finding an exec who will manage from ‘30,000 feet’ and is not part of the baseball family may be what this franchise needs. Traditional businesses often hire outside of their industry to bring in executive management skills that are transferable.”

It is expensive to use a high profile search firm. “A typical search usually costs 30 percent of the total first year compensation (of the person hired), including a signing bonus, plus all direct related expenses,” the source wrote in his email.

Twins curator Clyde Doepner, an expert on the franchise’s memorabilia, will speak to the “Breakfast with Leroy” group Saturday at the Bloomington Knights of Columbus, 1114 American Blvd West. A breakfast buffet starting at 9 a.m. precedes Doepner’s remarks. The public is invited with more information available by contacting Pat Rickert at 612-861-3981.

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David Shama

David Shama is a former sports editor and columnist with local publications. His writing and reporting experiences include covering the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers. Shama’s career experiences also include sports marketing. He is the former Marketing Director of the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL. He is also the former Marketing Director of the United States Tennis Association’s Northern Section. A native of Minneapolis, Shama has been part of the community his entire life. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he majored in journalism. He also has a Master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas. He was a member of the Governor’s NBA’s Task Force to help create interest in bringing pro basketball to town in the 1980s.

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