Vikings Depth Chart: Toby Gerhart Prepared To Start

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 18: Toby Gerhart #32 of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball 31 yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 18, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)

Minnesota Vikings RB Toby Gerhart is ready to assume the starting role if Adrian Peterson is not ready to go.

It's stil unknown if Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson will play in the team's season opener vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 9, but back-up running back Toby Gerhart says he's ready to assume the starting job if necessary. Gerhart begins 2012 hoping that his role in Minnesota's offense will expand, and he said that if Peterson's isn't able to resume his regular workload on the field, he welcomes more carries.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Gerhart only averaged 2.7 touches in 2011 in games in which Peterson played all four quarters. Gerhart did have a few encouraging games last year when Peterson was absent, rushing for 109 yards on 11 carries in Week 16 and more than 90 yards in Weeks 12 and 13. For the season, Gerhart finished with 531 yards on 109 carries, good for 4.9 yards per clip. He also scored one touchdown on the ground and three through the air.

For more on the Vikings, head over to the Daily Norseman or stick with SB Nation Minnesota. For more news, notes and analysis from around the NFL, check out SB Nation's NFL news hub.

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