Peterson to miss at least one game; won't need surgery

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will miss Sunday's game against Oakland with a torn ligament in his right knee.

Coach Brad Childress said Monday that Peterson tore his lateral collateral ligament in the Vikings' 34-0 loss to Green Bay. Peterson will not require surgery, Childress said.

Running toward history

</center>Adrian Peterson is closing in on a couple of records set by Los Angeles 
Rams running back Eric Dickerson who set a rookie record with 1,808 rushing yards in 1983, and a single-season record with 2,105 rushing yards in 1984. Peterson is on pace to break both records. Here is a look at each season through nine games. 

Adrian Peterson, 2008
Yards: 1,081

Avg.: 6.4

TDs: 8

Eric Dickerson, 1983
Yards: 1,096

Avg.: 5.1

TDs: 13

Eric Dickerson, 1984
Yards: 963

Avg.: 5.0

TDs: 5

"The good news is that the knee is otherwise stable and the injury is isolated to that ligament," Childress said. "I'm told that's a good healing ligament."

Childress said this is not a season-ending injury, but he did not talk about when Peterson might be back.

"I'm real hesitant to put a timeline on that thing," Childress said.

Peterson was hurt just a week after he set an NFL single-game rushing record with 296 yards in a victory over San Diego.

Team doctors told Childress that with ligament tears graded on a three-point scale, with three being the worst, Peterson's tear is "two-plus." It's not as serious as an anterior cruciate ligament tear, which would have required surgery and ended Peterson's brilliant rookie season.

"This is not one of those," Childress said.

Peterson was injured in the third quarter Sunday. Packers cornerback Al Harris hit him in the knee just as Peterson was about to make a cut downfield, and the star rookie writhed in pain for several minutes in a scary scene.

Losing the only offensive star it has will be a devastating blow to a unit that has struggled in every game Peterson has not topped 200 yards rushing this season. It's been a one-man show in Minnesota, with Peterson accounting for 1,081 of the team's 1,551 yards rushing and eight of the team's 10 touchdowns rushing.

The No. 7 overall draft pick out of Oklahoma broke the single-game rushing record two weeks ago against San Diego, racking up 296 yards to put him on pace to smash Eric Dickerson's record for yards rushing by a rookie in a single season.

Now the Vikings will turn to veteran Chester Taylor, who topped 1,200 yards rushing last season and has been solid in spot duty behind Peterson this year. Taylor is averaging 5 yards per carry in a backup role.

"He obviously has a track record," Childress said. "We just expect somebody to pick up there."

Peterson took over as the starter after rushing for 224 yards in a victory over Chicago on Oct. 14. The Vikings scored 34 points that week, and the only other time they've topped 30 points in a game this season was during Peterson's historic performance in their 35-17 victory over the Chargers two weeks ago.

An unbalanced attack on offense is mostly to blame. The Vikings rank No. 1 in the NFL in rush offense, but are 31st in passing offense and have flip-flopped quarterbacks all season.

Brooks Bollinger became the third quarterback to start this season in Sunday's loss to Green Bay, and Childress said he will go with Tarvaris Jackson against the Raiders.

With the Packers keyed almost solely on stopping Peterson, the dazzling runner was limited to 45 yards on 11 carries before he was hurt. The Vikings had just 17 plays in the first half thanks to Bollinger's struggles in the passing game, and had no chance after falling behind 20-0 early in the second half.

For the immediate future, at least, the Vikings must find a way to generate intensity without the player who galvanizes them on offense.

Childress lauded Taylor's acceptance of the backup role and said he was confident the former starter would pick up the slack.

"He handled it like a man," Childress said of the demotion. "There's nobody more competitive than Chester is. It's a quiet, kind of fiery competitiveness.

"Did he like it? No. Did he accept it? Yeah ... He's come to work every day and has still been a great resource for Adrian."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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