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Patterson: We need to realize A.P. could be out a while

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The Minnesota Vikings' offense looked lost on Sunday without Adrian Peterson in a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots.

Several Vikings players said the offensive struggles went beyond Peterson's absence (i.e. Matt Cassel heaving four interceptions). However, second-year pro Cordarrelle Patterson said the offense needs to get used to the idea they might be without the All-Pro running back for a while.

"We've got to get the mindset that (No.) 28 probably ain't going to be here with us," Patterson said, per ESPN.com. "So we have to come in and do what we do best."

Peterson was deactivated after being charged Friday with reckless or negligent injury to a child. His future with the franchise remains up in the air as the legal process plays out.

NFL Media's Stacey Dales said on NFL AM Monday morning that Rick Spielman has maintained the Vikings are still working through the process and haven't made any decisions on Peterson's future, but all options are on the table.

The Vikings' offense couldn't get traction without Peterson to carry the load Sunday. Simply, Peterson is the locomotive driving Minnesota's offense. Without him in the backfield the entire train got derailed. It could stay that way for some time.

Rookie coach Mike Zimmer, however, bristled at the notion that Peterson's situation affected his team.

"No, it didn't affect the team," Zimmer said. "You know what affected the team? Throwing interceptions, getting a field goal blocked, not tackling well enough, having penalties on defense. That's what affected the team. The team was fine."

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