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Toby Gerhart gives Vikings time with Adrian Peterson

Although he was activated from the physically unable to perform list earlier this week, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson didn't play in Friday night's preseason game against the Buffalo Bills.

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Peterson is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season, despite coming off major knee surgery less than nine months ago -- Vikings coach Leslie Frazier wouldn't have activated him if that wasn’t a realistic goal -- but the play of Toby Gerhart will allow the team to not rush the perennial Pro Bowl pick back onto the field.

Taking first-team reps at running back, Gerhart had five carries for 31 yards in the preseason opener and added six carries for 30 yards Friday night, including a 16-yard run to the Bills' 4-yard line to help set up a touchdown on the Vikings' opening drive.

On the Vikings' next possession, Gerhart had a 19-yard reception that put the team at the Bills' 8-yard line line. Rookie kicker Blair Walsh capped the drive with a field goal.

"It feels good to get out here and show what I can do," Gerhart said, via the Pioneer Press. "I think the last two games I've done OK to show that I can carry the load if need be."

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