Vikings lose Peterson to sprained knee; Grant has breakout game

GREEN BAY (AP) -- Minnesota Vikings rookie Adrian Peterson was helped off the field in the second half against Green Bay on Sunday, ending a frustrating day that came on the heels of a record-breaking performance.

GREEN BAY (AP) -- Minnesota Vikings rookie Adrian Peterson was helped off the field in the second half against Green Bay on Sunday, ending a frustrating day that came on the heels of a record-breaking performance.

Peterson made an 11-yard catch in the third quarter of Minnesota's 34-0 loss when he was hit by cornerback Al Harris in the middle of the field. The tackle sent Peterson sprawling and he writhed in pain before limping off with the help of trainers.

He was diagnosed with a sprained right knee and said an MRI exam is scheduled for Monday.

''It was scary,'' Peterson said. ''It happened so fast. I don't know if it was a shoulder pad or helmet, but right when I planted, that's when he came and hit me.''

Peterson finished with 45 yards on 11 carries, after going for an NFL-record 296 yards in a victory over the San Diego Chargers the previous week.


''I don't expect to go out there and rush for almost 300 yards every week,'' Peterson said. ''You've got your best game one week and your worst game the next.''

The Vikings also played without quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (concussion). Backup Brooks Bollinger struggled in his place, finishing 16-of-26 for 176 yards.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins ''banged'' his knee but did not elaborate on the injury. Green Bay also lost right tackle Mark Tauscher to an ankle injury.

Grant has great day

Ryan Grant didn't mind that he was the forgotten running back heading into the Green Bay Packers' game against Minnesota on Sunday.

''Not really,'' Grant said afterward.

While most of the pregame attention was on how the Packers' defense would contend with Vikings rookie sensation Adrian Peterson, Grant gladly flew under the radar.

Maintaining a low profile worked to Grant's advantage. His big-time performance against a stout Minnesota run defense helped the Packers roll to a 34-0 win and improve to 8-1 this season.


Grant, a first-year player, ran for a career-high 119 yards on 25 carries, highlighted by a 30-yard touchdown in the first quarter that started the rout.

''I'm not used to seeing the ball run on our defense that way,'' Vikings coach Brad Childress said. ''Generally what happens when someone is running the football is they are exerting their will on somebody and somebody is not exerting it back.''

Grant became the first player to run for 100 yards against Minnesota's No. 2-ranked rush defense. The Vikings had been allowing an average of only 70.4 rushing yards per game.

The Packers came in with the dubious distinction of worst running offense in the league, averaging just 72.1 yards.

The Packers finished with 120 yards rushing, providing rare balance for an offense that has spent most of the season compensating for deficiencies in the run game by throwing the football at will.

Green Bay still put the ball in the air 48 times, but Grant's contributions enabled the Packers to put together a series of long scoring drives and dominate the time of possession, 40:40 to 19:20.

Grant also was a big part of the passing game, tying Koren Robinson for the team lead with five catches.

Grant was at his best early in the game.


He had eight carries for 81 yards in the first quarter and was well on his way to upstaging Peterson, who set a league record with 296 rushing yards last Sunday against San Diego.

Peterson left the game late in the third quarter with a sprained knee. The Packers held him to a season-low 45 yards on the ground.

Grant, acquired before the season in a trade with the New York Giants, has found a comfort zone in the offense the last few weeks and provided a much-needed jolt to a previously stagnant run game.

His output Sunday topped his team-best total of 104 yards two weeks earlier at Denver.

That effort, which came in relief of injured rookie DeShawn Wynn, earned Grant his first pro start last week at Kansas City. Grant rushed for just 55 yards before leaving the game with a concussion.

He passed the team's post-concussion tests and was cleared to play Sunday.

''I think Ryan keeps getting better each week with his opportunities. So we're definitely heading in the right direction,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

Guards are on


Green Bay's strong run performance reflected well on an offensive line that was heavily scrutinized by the coaching staff last week.

McCarthy toyed with a rotation of four players at the two guard spots in practice last week. Thanks in part to Junius Coston's lingering ankle injury, the Packers stuck with Daryn Colledge at left guard and Jason Spitz at right guard Sunday.

The early reviews were positive.

''You have to be happy with the production,'' offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. ''I thought our protection overall was good. There were a couple hits on (Brett Favre), but when you throw it 45 times, you're probably going to get hit a couple times. I thought overall our protection was good. (The Vikings) did some twisting and unique things. I'm encouraged.''

Right tackle Mark Tauscher was taken out of the game for the final quarter after he injured his ankle, but it isn't believed to be serious.

Colledge, who has been the starter at left guard since opening day, moved to right tackle for the rest of the game. Rookie Allen Barbre was inserted at left guard.

A shaken Favre

Aaron Rodgers made his first relief appearance of the season at quarterback for the Packers, mopping up for two series in the final four minutes.


Rodgers, who completed both of his passes, almost was pressed into service much earlier. Favre was shaken for a few moments after taking a shot to the back of the helmet from Vikings defensive end Kenechi Udeze with about five minutes left in the third quarter.

Udeze came flying in to make a tackle just as Favre slid to the turf on a scramble. The hit resulted in a 15-yard penalty against Udeze, but a dazed Favre stayed in the game.

''I don't remember that,'' Favre admitted after the game. ''It was legit. I had people say, 'Man, good job baiting them into the call.' I can find better ways to draw the call.

''I think I took a knee to the head or something. I don't want to say it was a concussion or anything, I'm not a doctor. But, I was a little woozy. I was well aware of what was going on, but I was a little light on the foot. That's the best way I can explain it. I don't know what it looked like.''

Rodgers was on call just in case, however.

''I'm on the headset, and immediately, (McCarthy) was saying my name,'' Rodgers said. ''So, I was ripping stuff off as quick as I can. Just like it's happened probably six times, I get my stuff off and then (Favre) gets up, shakes it off and stays in.''


Favre had three touchdown passes, giving him 202 in his career at Lambeau Field to extend his league record for most thrown at one stadium. ... Packers DT Cullen Jenkins suffered a knee injury in the final two minutes and didn't return. ... Attendance was 70,945, a Lambeau Field record.


Minnesota 0 0 0 0 -- 0

Green Bay 7 6 14 7 -- 34

First Quarter

GB--Grant 30 run (Crosby kick), 7:18.

Second Quarter

GB--FG Crosby 39, 6:30.

GB--FG Crosby 24, :00.

Third Quarter

GB--Lee 1 pass from Favre (Crosby kick), 9:29.

GB--Martin 8 pass from Favre (Crosby kick), 2:24.

Fourth Quarter

GB--Martin 17 pass from Favre (Crosby kick), 5:38.



Min GB

First downs 11 29

Total Net Yards 247 488

Rushes-yards 15-86 32-120

Passing 161 368

Punt Returns 0-0 4-39

Kickoff Returns 4-82 1-22

Interceptions Ret. 0-0 1-2

Comp-Att-Int 16-26-1 35-48-0

Sacked-Yards Lost 3-15 0-0

Punts 5-52.8 3-50.7

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0

Penalties-Yards 5-51 4-35

Time of Possession 19:20 40:40



RUSHING--Minnesota, Peterson 11-45, Taylor 3-37, Bollinger 1-4. Green Bay, Grant 25-119, Jackson 4-1, Favre 1-1, Rodgers 2-(minus 1).

PASSING--Minnesota, Bollinger 16-26-1-176. Green Bay, Favre 33-46-0-351, Rodgers 2-2-0-17.

RECEIVING--Minnesota, Ferguson 6-59, Peterson 3-14, Taylor 2-59, Wade 2-29, Shiancoe 1-7, Allison 1-4, Richardson 1-4. Green Bay, Robinson 5-45, Grant 5-20, Driver 4-63, Jennings 4-63, Martin 4-57, Lee 4-27, Jones 3-62, Morency 3-11, Jackson 2-14, Hall 1-6.


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