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The Adrian Peterson injury is one of the reasons that the Minnesota Vikings fell to the Atlanta Falcons this this past weekend, but he wasn't the only player that was hurt in the Vikings road loss. Head coach Leslie Frazier spoke to the media on Monday where he assessed the health of his players following the weekend's game.
The most important player that Frazier updated didn't even play against the Falcons as Peterson was ruled out with a high ankle sprain, but it sounds as though the Vikings running back is getting better.
Halfback Adrian Peterson (high ankle sprain) continues to make progress and coaches will know more on his status later in the week. "He is improving so that's encouraging for us," Frazier said.
The prognosis on some of the other Vikings isn't quite as promising, however.
Frazier said long snapper Cullen Loeffler is out two to six weeks with a lower back fracture, safety Tyrell Johnson suffered a significant hamstring injury, wide receiver Michael Jenkins could miss time due to a knee injury, cornerback Asher Allen suffered a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and Hussain Abdullah could return this week after missing the previous two games with a concussion.
With dynamic running back Adrian Peterson sitting out for the game, the Falcons defense was able to pay more attention to Ponder and pay attention they did, sacking the rook four times, keeping him in check much of the day. Ponder's big play came in the fourth quarter when he connected with Percy Harvin for a 39-yard touchdown pass.
For the game, Ponder finished completing 17 of 25 passes for 186 yards with the one touchdown. He also tacked on nine yards rushing on two carries. Ponder did take care of the ball with no interceptions or fumbles despite the pressure he endured from the Atlanta defense.
Ponder's numbers fell short in comparison to the Numberfire.com projection for this week, which had him completing 20 of 32.7 passes for 231.84 yards with 1.18 touchdowns and 1.22 interceptions. Ponder will be tough to play next week, as well with the Baltimore Ravens on the schedule.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin continued to make plays for the Vikings while making his bothersome bruised ribs appear to be a non-factor. With running back Adrian Peterson on the shelf for the week, Harvin took over the fantasy spotlight for Minnesota.
Harvin led the Vikings in both receptions and yards, hauling in eight passes from quarterback Christian Ponder for 95 yards and one touchdown. Harvin had another five touches on hand offs but only gained 11 yards for the game. Still, those 11 yards put his yardage totals on the day over the century mark which combined with the touchdown catch should make any fantasy football owners who took a chance on Harvin this week very happy.
The fantasy production from Harvin today exceeded expectations laid out in Numberfire.com's projections for the week which had Harvin with 4.28 receptions for 65.49 yards and 0.28 touchdowns. With Ponder's modest throwing numbers, Harvin certainly stepped up in place of Peterson as Minnesota's best fantasy play.
Percy Harvin gave the Vikings life at the end of the game, but the Vikings just couldn't bring themselves to take advantage of it.
After the Falcons had extended their lead to 24-14, Percy Harvin took the ensuing kickoff eight yards deep in the end zone and said, "You know, my team is 2-8, what do we have to lose," deciding to return it. It wound up being a good decision, as Harvin blew through the Falcons' kick coverage, and appeared to be on his way to the end zone when he was run down by Atlanta's Chris Owens at the Falcons' 3-yard line.
But, these are the 2011 Minnesota Vikings we're talking about.
A rollout by Christian Ponder on first down resulted in a 2-yard loss. Harvin then carried twice to put the ball down at the Atlanta 1-yard line, and the Vikings faced 4th-and-goal from there. Replay made it appear as though Harvin might have actually gotten across the goal line on third down, but Leslie Frazier did not challenge the call, and it may have cost the Vikings in a big way.
On fourth down, the Vikings handed the ball to Toby Gerhart, Visanthe Shiancoe totally blew his block, and Gerhart was stuffed for a 2-yard loss, giving the Falcons a turnover on downs. A couple of first downs later, and the Falcons were celebrating a 24-14 victory over the Vikings.
We'll have more on this one coming up shortly, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you to everyone who got your updates from us this afternoon.
The Atlanta Falcons seem to have captured the momentum at the Georgia Dome, as Matt Ryan has his third touchdown pass of the afternoon to put the Falcons back up by ten points over the Minnesota Vikings.
The Falcons drive went 73 yards in nine plays, taking 3:59 to complete. The drive concluded with a three-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to seldom-used tight end Michael Palmer to make the score 24-14.
The touchdown from Atlanta stops a run of 14 unanswered points by the Vikings, but at least the team has kept fighting throughout this one after a first half where it would have been very easy for them to fold up the tents and quit.
Percy Harvin has just answered with a HUGE kick return. . .105 yards, and managed not to get into the end zone. . .to set the Vikings up with first and goal on the 3-yard line of the Falcons.
This one isn't over yet, ladies and gentlemen.
If you didn't see it on television, here's a look at it for you.
The key here is the protection that Christian Ponder receives. . .well, that and the fact that the Falcons decided that covering Percy Harvin deep down the field with a linebacker is a good idea. But every part of this play is outstanding. . .the protection Ponder receives, the throw from Ponder, and the catch by Harvin with a guy climbing on him.
Say what you will about the Minnesota Vikings, but they're certainly not giving up. Coming into this game as a huge underdog because of an injury to Adrian Peterson (among other reasons), the Vikings have gotten themselves back within three points on the road against a quality opponent.
Keep it tuned right here for more updates on this battle!
The Vikings took a big risk early in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons, and got it to pay off.
The Vikings were facing a 4th-and-13 at the Atlanta 39-yard line, and Leslie Frazier and company decided that they were going to go for it. Christian Ponder dropped back, got the best protection that he's gotten all day, and hit Percy Harvin in the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 17-14.
The play came about after a couple of breaks for the Vikings. After what appeared to be a three-and-out for the Vikings, Chris Kluwe punted the ball away, but Ryan D'Imperio managed to block a Falcons' player into the bouncing ball, and the Vikings made the recovery on the play.
Minnesota then got an opportunity out of what looked like a bad situation. Minnesota attempted to run a screen to Toby Gerhart that appeared to set up 4th-and-7 for the Vikings, but Falcons' coach Mike Smith challenged the play, and it was ruled that the ball hit the ground before Gerhart caught it. So, rather than having to attempt a field goal, the Vikings decided to go for it, and Ponder hit Harvin for the long touchdown pass.
So, with 13:13 left in the game at the Georgia Dome, the Minnesota Vikings now find themselves down just three against the Atlanta Falcons, 17-14.
The Minnesota Vikings are once again showing a propensity to fight through adversity, as they have put together an impressive drive to cut the Atlanta Falcons' lead to 17-7 as we near the end of the third quarter of play.
The Vikings started the drive from their own 20-yard line, and proceeded to go 80 yards in 14 plays, taking 7:53 off of the clock. . .no doubt a welcome sight for a Vikings' defense that had to spend a lot of time on the field in the first half.
Vikings' quarterback Christian Ponder continues to impress, as he made a scrambling completion to fellow rookie Allen Reisner on a 3rd-and-1 to keep the drive moving, and then threaded a dangerous pass between two defenders to Percy Harvin to put the Vikings down at the Atlanta 1-yard line. The throw looked eerily similar to a pass that Ponder threw last week against the Raiders that was intercepted by Matt Giordano.
However, the Vikings found themselves with first and goal, and Toby Gerhart handled things from there, as he took the handoff from Ponder and smashed into the end zone from a yard out to cut the Vikings' deficit to 17-7.
The Falcons have the ball with less than three minutes left in the third quarter. Keep it tuned here to SB Nation Minnesota for the latest updates.
It's been bad for the Minnesota Vikings so far in the first half of play. . .and yet, somehow, it doesn't feel like it's as bad as it could be.
The Atlanta Falcons have gotten two Matt Ryan touchdown passes, one to Harry Douglas and one to Roddy White, and a 37-yard field goal to Matt Bryant to give themselves a 17-0 lead at halftime of this afternoon's game at the Georgia Dome. The Vikings are turning into a bit of a M*A*S*H unit to this point, with defensive backs Tyrell Johnson and Asher Allen getting injured during the first half, and Jared Allen being pressed into long snapping duty due to long snapper Cullen Loeffler suffering a bruised tailbone on a punt return late in the second quarter.
The Vikings have only run two plays in Falcons' territory in the first half, having only amassed 97 total yards in the first half of play. The Falcons have held the ball twice as long as Minnesota has, having 19:36 in the time of possession column in the first half compared to 10:24 for the Vikings.
Quarterback Christian Ponder has played rather well, considering that he's been under constant pressure from the Falcons on every snap. He has completed 10 out of 12 passes for 81 yards. Toby Gerhart, getting the bulk of the rushing attempts in place of Adrian Peterson, has carried the ball 8 times for 23 yards, and has been stopped for no gain four times.
The Vikings will get the ball first in the second half of play. Not sure how much good it's going to do, but they will. However, as we head into the locker room, the Vikings trail the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 17-0.
The Minnesota Vikings' defense is trying. They really are. But they've gotten hit by a spate of injuries early on, and are apparently going to have to start pulling people out of the stands here in their game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons' most recent touchdown drive moved 68 yards in ten plays, taking a shade over six minutes to complete. Matt Ryan looked outstanding on the drive for Atlanta, connecting with all-everything tight end Tony Gonzalez numerous times. The final play of the drive was a six-yard strike from Ryan to Roddy White, who was wide open in the back of the end zone.
The Vikings have gotten even more beaten up in this one. Cornerback Asher Allen injured his shoulder, and nobody knows whether he is going to be back. Safety Tyrell Johnson appeared to pull a hamstring on a play that should have been a huge touchdown pass from Ryan to White. Even long snapper Cullen Loeffler has been knocked around, suffering a bruised tailbone after getting absolutely lit up on a punt return in the second quarter. If you're scoring at home, Jared Allen is listed as the team's alternate long snapper, if it becomes necessary.
But, with a little less than four minutes left in the first half at the Georgia Dome, the Minnesota Vikings trail the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 14-0.
The Falcons started out at their own 20-yard line, and moved down the field in nine plays, thanks largely to the running of Michael Turner. The Falcons also got an assist from a 15-yard face mask penalty on Jared Allen on the drive.
The Falcons got their touchdown on 2nd-and-19 on the Minnesota 27 after a penalty pushed them back. Matt Ryan took the shotgun snap, scanned the field, and four receiver Harry Douglas across the middle. Douglas broke through an E.J. Henderson tackle, and danced into the end zone to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead.
The Vikings will start out at their own 20-yard line, and hope to put together a much better drive than their first effort, when two passes to Percy Harvin and an incompletion netted the Vikings minus-four yards.
With a shade more than six minutes left in the first quarter at the Georgia Dome, the Minnesota Vikings trail the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 7-0.
While the Falcons will have their rookie wide receiver Julio Jones dressed and ready for action vs. the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta will have seven inactive players this week. Cornerback Kelvin Hayden is one of those inactives, as he was ruled out earlier in the week with a toe injury that kept him from practicing throughout.
Offensive lineman Sam Baker, who is battling a back injury, was a full participant in practice on Friday and is listed as active for today's game. He was listed as questionable and may not see much action today, however.
Here is the full inactive list for the Atlanta Falcons this week vs. the Vikings:
• Cornerback Kelvin Hayden (toe)
• Offensive tackle Kirk Chambers
• Center Brett Romberg
• Defensive tackle Carlton Powell
• Defensive end Cliff Matthews
• Linebacker Spencer Adkins
• Cornerback Darrin Walls
As you know, star running back Adrian Peterson will not be suiting up against the Atlanta Falcons today. Starting in his stead will be second year running back Toby Gerhart. Gerhart has seen limited action in his two seasons and has just 118 yards on 24 carries this season.
Besides Peterson, the Vikings are relatively healthy. Wide receiver Percy Harvin, who was questionable all week with a ribs injury, is active and will play. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who was also questionable with a hamstring injury and limited in practice all week, is also active for Sunday's game.
Here's the full list of Minnesota Vikings inactives vs. Falcons:
• Running back Adrian Peterson (ankle)
• Tight end Kyle Rudolph (quad)
• Offensive tackle DeMarcus Love
• Guard Anthony Herrera (knee)
• Defensive end D'Aundre Reed
• Corner back Chris Cook (not injury-related)
• Safety Husain Abdullah (concussion)
On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings will hit the road to take on the Atlanta Falcons. They're not at a point where they're contending in the NFC North division, and don't look to have a shot at the wild card, but that really isn't the theme of the season for Minnesota right now, anyway. Green Bay has the lead and is still undefeated, while both Detroit and Chicago are chasing the Packers, while competing with each other for a spot in the wild card. The theme for Minnesota has quickly become rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, and his continued development for the future.
The Falcons are trailing the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South division, and are also looking at a potential late season battle for the same aforementioned wild card spot that the Lions and Bears are after. A Minnesota win would likely mean a solid outing from Ponder, with running back Adrian Peterson out, but it could also mean helping their rivals reach the playoffs.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Nov. 27, 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
TV Schedule: FOX (TV Distribution Map)
TV Announcers: Thom Brenneman, Brian Billick
Radio: KFAN FM 100.3
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will not play against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday after the team ruled him out following a Saturday morning walk through.
Peterson suffered a high ankle sprain last Sunday against the Oakland Raiders as early diagnosis of the injury revealed it wouldn't keep the running back out for the season. Peterson spent much of the week out of practice and in a walking boot, hoping to heal enough to give it against Atlanta. But his doubtful status turned worse this morning when the team gathered for final game preparations.
With Peterson on the sidelines, bruising back Toby Gerhart will likely start in his place taking the bulk of the carries, while Percy Harvin and Lorenzo Booker will look to help replace the big play burst Peterson threatens opponents with by himself.
Quarterback Christian Ponder has a chance to raise his profile as a leader on offense, as the rookie will have to manage the team without leaning on Peterson to make plays to keep the ball moving.
After missing last week's game with a hamstring injury, the Atlanta Falcons are probably going to be getting back their rookie wide receiver Julio Jones this week vs. the Vikings. Jones, who has 30 receptions and 498 yards receiving this season, was a limited participant on Thursday, but returned to practice on Friday as a full participant.
Here's the full Falcons injury report for Week 12:
LIMITED PARTICIPANTS: Defensive tackle Vance Walker (groin, questionable).
FULL PARTICIPANTS: Wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring, probable), safety William Moore (quad, probable), defense end John Abraham (not injury-related, probable), guard Justin Blalock (ankle, probable), tight end Tony Gonzalez (not injury-related, probable), defensive tackle Corey Peters (knee, probable), linebacker Curtis Lofton (ankle, probable), and offensive tackle Sam Baker (back, questionable)
The Vikings are likely going to be without their star running back Adrian Peterson this weekend against the Falcons after he suffered a high ankle injury last week. Toby Gerhart will be the starting running back should Peterson can't go. Gerhart has 24 carries and 118 yards this season.
Here's the full Vikings injury report for Week 12.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: Cornerback Chris Cook (not injury-related, out), safety Husain Abdullah (concussion, out), running back Adrian Peterson (ankle, doubtful), tight end Kyle Rudolph (quadriceps, doubtful).
FULL PARTICIPANTS: Linebacker Erin Henderson (hamstring, probable), defensive tackle Christian Ballard (hamstring, probable), offensive tackle Charlie Johnson (achilles, probable), saftey Jamarca Sanford (shoulder, probable), and quarterback Christian Ponder (knee, probable).
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