All eyes have been on Vikings RB Adrian Peterson this summer. He recently returned to practice from his knee rehab but may not even be starting on opening day. RB Toby Gerhart has been working diligently -- as if he will have to fill that opening-day spot.
Gerhart has quietly been looking very good in the first two preseason games (11 carries for 61 yards), and he's certainly improving in his third season as a pro, according to offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave.
“Toby has made strides in the pass protection realm of his game,” Musgrave said. “He has always been smart, but I think his technique has been better this year. He is playing with lower pad level.
Musgrave also says that Gerhart is more assertive as a runner -- "a little bit quicker to hit the hole, and I think that comes primarily from familiarity with our blocking schemes and our system," Musgrave said.
Not ready to anoint Fusco: Asked if RG Brandon Fusco had landed the right-guard position with RG Geoff Schwartz out with an injury, Musgrave said: “Not to my knowledge. We talk about personnel every day, and we have not had that discussion about anything being locked up. He's done a nice job, and we are looking forward to more strides this week. This is the third preseason game, and we talked about the first two being good, possibly better, but still not quite good enough across the board. We're looking to be good enough before the Jacksonville game rolls around.”
More shots for Aromashodu: In Friday's preseason game against the Bills, WR Devin Aromashodu was targeted six times (far and away the most of any receiver), but he came up with no catches. According to Musgrave, though, they will continue to target Aromashodu. “Devin has just had some bad luck here these first two games,” Musgrave said. “We've tried to send the ball his way and various factors have caused him to come up empty, so we are going to keep going to that well. We can count on Devin. He gives us his best effort every day, so the worm will turn in that regard.”
- DT Letroy Guion, who suffered a PCL strain in his knee, has returned to practice with a large brace on his right knee. Coach Leslie Frazier said he was “doing fairly well” and they would monitor him the rest of the week.
- TE Kyle Rudolph has been cleared of the concussion protocol and has returned to practice. “Kyle has passed everything he needs to and we will see how does in practice this week and then make a decision (on him for Friday's game),” Frazier said.
- CB Chris Cook (concussion) has not returned. Cook has not passed all the tests and remains under observation. Frazier said that if Cook can't go on Friday, CB Josh Robinson could see increased reps at the cornerback position.
- DE Everson Griffen missed practice on Monday due to a stomach virus, according to Frazier. Frazier thought the flu was of the 24 hour variety, and Griffen should return to practice on Tuesday.
- FB Matt Asiata returned to practice after missing Sunday's practice tending to a family matter.
- RG Geoff Schwartz (sports hernia), TE John Carlson (MCL sprain), LB Solomon Elimimian (hamstring) and Kamar Jorden (broken hand) were not participating in practice. Frazier said that it didn't look like Carlson was going to make it back to the lineup for Friday's preseason game against San Diego, but he hoped to have him at practice next week.
- RB Jordan Todman (ankle) and S Robert Blanton (hamstring) were making progress with their injuries, according to Frazier, and they might be up for Friday's game at the Metrodome.
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