Vikings running back Adrian Peterson admitted Tuesday that he's "not as healthy as I would like" but will push to play in this Sunday's game, the final one for the Vikings in the Metrodome. Yet, if practice reports mean anything, Peterson's best efforts could all be for naught.
Although the Vikings didn't practice on Christmas, NFL rules require each team to release a practice report with an indication on how much each injured player would have practiced if one was held. Next to Peterson's name sits a "DNP." Peterson didn't practice on Tuesday. With backup running backs Toby Gerhart and Matt Asiata considered doubtful due to his hamstring injuries, Joe Banyard could be the team's starter against the Lions. He doesn't have any carries to his credit and was added from the Vikings' practice squad about 10 days ago.
You should not expect Banyard to repeat Asiata's three-touchdown fluke from a couple of weeks ago. For one thing, Banyard has a much tougher matchup facing him -- Detroit -- than what Asiata went up against in his Week 15 start -- Philadelphia. Banyard is a low-end flex at best. As for Peterson, there is no reason for the 4-10-1 Vikings to risk their franchise player in Week 17.