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Peterson upgraded to questionable, could play vs. Giants on Sunday

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Outstanding Vikings rookie running back Adrian Peterson was upgraded to questionable Friday, increasing his chances of playing against the New York Giants on Sunday.

Peterson tore the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee two weeks ago against Green Bay, but coach Brad Childress said he thought the NFL's leading rusher was progressing ahead of schedule this week in practice.

"He's getting there," Childress said.

One week after setting the single-game NFL record with 296 yards rushing against San Diego, Peterson was injured when Packers cornerback Al Harris went low to bring him down in the third quarter of a 34-0 loss to Green Bay.

Team doctors were adamant the injury was relatively minor in nature, and Peterson would return at some point this season.

"There's a 50-50 chance he'll play (this week)," Childress said. "That's as professional of fence-riding as you can get, isn't it?"

Peterson said he was encouraged by his week of practice, which included some rehabilitation work in the pool and limited snaps on the field.

"I'm just going to come in tomorrow and see how it feels," Peterson said. "I'm going to take it one day at a time."

Whenever he does return, Peterson will wear a brace to protect his knee, something he is still getting used to.

"It feels like it's been stiffening me up," Peterson said. "It's really just getting used to the brace and everything."

If Peterson can't play against the Giants, Chester Taylor will again get the bulk of the carries. The veteran has proven to be more than capable in Peterson's stead, rushing for 164 yards and three touchdowns in last week's victory over the Raiders.

Cornerback Antoine Winfield was listed as doubtful with an injured hamstring that has nagged him for the past three weeks. Winfield started last week, but missed the second half after it flared up.

"With these injuries, you never know," Winfield said.

Center Matt Birk also missed practice because of a death in the family, but Childress said he would be with the team in New York on Sunday.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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