Using Petersen, McKinnon 16 Aug 16

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has left open the possibility of some preseason playing time for running back Adrian Peterson.

Zimmer said Monday he has not decided whether or not to put Peterson on the field in an exhibition game for the first time in five years. Zimmer said he’d let Peterson play “if he wants to,” but the coach and the player have not discussed the situation recently.

The Vikings play Thursday at Seattle. The natural opportunity for a Peterson cameo would be against San Diego Aug. 28, the team’s first game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Zimmer said after last season that he “probably” made a mistake by not playing Peterson in any exhibitions, when asked about his role in the passing game.

 

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings expect a larger role for Jerick McKinnon, citing his diverse set of skills and the nature of successful offenses in the NFL. The 24-year-old says he feels like he and the Vikings are in a “good situation.”

Coach Mike Zimmer says the Vikings want to be able to use McKinnon a lot, even as he plays behind Adrian Peterson. Peterson is 31 and led the NFL last season with 1,485 yards rushing but isn’t considered the same threat when down and distance dictate a pass. McKinnon can handle those tasks more to the coaching staff’s liking, and he brings the shift in style and stature that can be an effective change to throw at a team geared up for Peterson.