NFL Wire News

Lions bracing for motivated Peterson in Minnesota

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The Sports Xchange

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — In 12 career games against the Detroit Lions, Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson has averaged nearly 105 rushing yards and scored 12 total touchdowns.

Lions defensive end Darryl Tapp was impressed with how the Vikings performed without Peterson last year. Cornerback Josh Wilson credited backs Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon for filling that void.

With Peterson back, though, the Lions know Sunday’s Week 2 matchup will be a tough game for them to notch their first win.

“Having AP back, they’ve got a little monster going on over there, so it’s going to be another challenge for us this week,” Tapp said.

Wilson, a nine-year veteran, knows it won’t be easy to combat the fast and physical Peterson, who will play his first home game since Dec. 29, 2013 on Sunday at the Minnesota Gophers’ TCF Bank Stadium.

“He’s going to run hard,” Wilson said. “He’s not just trying to break a tackle or get a couple yards. He’s trying to run through you. He wants to break your facemask, and when you’ve got a guy like that who runs with such horsepower, you’ve got to make sure you brings your hips. You’re not going to arm tackle this guy.”

Asked about Peterson, Lions coach Jim Caldwell described him as “big, fast, strong, productive” and “a real playmaker.” In Week 1, though, Peterson had just 10 carries for 31 yards along with three catches for 21 yards, but knowing what he has done in the past, the Lions still view him as one of the best, if not the best running back in the league.

“They’re rare, obviously, real rare,” Caldwell said of Peterson’s skills. “The size, power, speed, all of the things he possesses. That’s why he’s been able to do what he’s done through the years. He’s certainly a great back.”

In addition to Peterson, the Vikings have players like wide receivers Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson and tight end Kyle Rudolph who can take advantage of an injured Lions defense, which will likely be without top linebacker DeAndre Levy (hip). Cornerback Darius Slay might play, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be 100 percent recovered from a fourth-quarter ankle injury from Week 1.

Despite Peterson’s low usage last Sunday in the Vikings’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Caldwell said he anticipates Peterson will be a big factor in the game. The easiest way to stop him will be to play technically sound.

“You’ve got to go in there and play your responsibility and with him, if you don’t play your responsibility, he’s going to hurt you,” Wilson said.

INJURY NOTES: Quarterback Matthew Stafford dealt with a right arm injury in the second half of Sunday’s game, but plans to play in Week 2. He added a sleeve to his throwing arm two series after taking a hard hit from linebacker Melvin Ingram. “I feel good,” he said. “I’m ready to go.” … LB DeAndre Levy missed practice Wednesday with a hip injury and his status for Sunday is unknown. … RG Larry Warford was limited Wednesday, but practiced for the first time this month and could play Sunday. … WR Golden Tate (shoulder), TE Brandon Pettigrew (hamstring) and DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder) all missed practice Wednesday but are expected to play Sunday.


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