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Toby Gerhart To Have Increased Role With Minnesota Vikings In 2012

Even with Adrian Peterson expected to be fully healthy by Week 1 and perhaps even be ready for Friday's preseason game, the Minnesota Vikings would like to get more out of backup running back Toby Gerhart this season, according to a blog from Vikings.com.

Behind Peterson the first two years of his career, the former Heisman finalist from Stanford has been productive if unspectacular, rushing for 853 yards on 190 carries and 2 touchdowns. He's looked solid in two preseason games, however, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has seen improvement from Gerhart this preseason.

"Toby has made strides in the pass protection realm of his game," Musgrave said. "He’s always been smart, but I think his technique is better this year. He’s playing with lower pad level. Running the ball, too, he seems to be more assertive. A little bit quicker to hit the hole."

With or without Peterson, the Vikings play their third preseason game Friday at home against the San Diego Chargers.

Stay with this StoryStream for more Vikings training camp coverage, and be sure to visit Daily Norseman for more Vikings football news. Also visit SB Nation's NFL hub for more analysis from around the league.

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Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.