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Vikings Vs. Panthers: Adrian Peterson Should Be Catching More Passes

It looks like running back Adrian Peterson will get to play on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. He appeared as probable on the Friday injury report and fantasy owners everywhere and breathing a sigh of relief. It looks like he'll be good to go and, more than that, it looks like he'll actually have a more expanded role in the team's offense:

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said Peterson's pass-catching role might elevate after the coaching staff discussed how to get him even more involved and help early-down efficiency.    

Really, what this means is that the Vikings want to keep the offense moving with better first- and second-down efficiency. It's true that the team wants to get Peterson touches because he's a playmaker and you're always better off when your best offensive player has the ball, but it's also likely because of rookie quarterback Christian Ponder.

More than they want to just get a few yards here and there and put the ball into Peterson's hands, they want a way for Ponder to dump the ball off and move it down the field. The rookie needs to gain confidence as he plays, and the short passes that go for big gains do just that. If Peterson can keep his hands on them, then it will likely work. He's never been much of a receiving back, but it just might be what Ponder needs to keep this offense moving and follow-up on the progress made last Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

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