For a Vikings team that has already been through an eventful season, the delay in Sunday's game is another twist in a strange 2010, but it's also a chance for players such as running back Adrian Peterson to rest a little longer.
Peterson, the NFL's eighth leading rusher heading into this week's play, missed the Vikings last game with a bruised thigh and was listed as questionable, though he had said he hoped to play.
"Hey, at least it’s another couple of days to heal. We just have to handle this like we have everything else that has gone on this season. Coach Frazier told us to continue to stick together, to stay focused, and that’s what we’ll do. This is just another bump in the road," Peterson said in comments released by the team.
Kicker Ryan Longwell said that with all that has happened, and now having an unexpected extended absence from family over Christmas, it would be easy for the Vikings to quit, but said players have to be professional.
"We have every reason, because of the season, to say, ‘This is the last straw and I’m checking out.’ But this is the NFL and you can’t do that. You have to show up ready to play Tuesday night and that’s what we’re trying to get the young guys and everybody to understand," Longwell said.
The Vikings will be allowed to use the Eagles indoor practice bubble for a walk-through Monday, said Eagles chief operating officer Don Smolenski. Andy Reid and Vikings coach Leslie Frazier discussed the arrangement, Smolenski said.
"We will accommodate them in that regard, absolutely," Smolenski said.
For the Vikings, this is the third consecutive week facing logistical oddities. Their Dec. 12 game against the Giants was moved to Dec. 13, and shipped to Detroit after the Metrodome roof collapsed under snow. Their game Monday had to be played in frigid conditions at the University of Minnesota's outdoor TCF Bank Stadium, because the Metrodome was still unplayable.
Frazier said his team was relieved Sunday to have clarity on when and where the game will be played.
"They knew exactly what we needed to do to stay focused on what we came up here to do, and that’s to get a win against the Eagles," Frazier told the Vikings' Web site. "I didn’t sense discouragement, I didn’t sense disappointment. I sensed relief in knowing (when and where) the game was going to be played.”
For the Vikings, it's another odd weekend in a disappointing 5-9 season that has included the off-season courtship of Brett Favre, the trade to acquire Randy Moss and his quick departure, and the end of Favre's consecutive games played streak, only for him to return and suffer another injury.
"What else can you say? Just add this to the list for the 2010 season," said defensive end Jared Allen. "But you know what, we have to remain together as a team and keep a positive mind frame. It’s important to be a professional and be ready to play on Tuesday night."
Chad Greenway: “It’s just another interesting twist to our season. It’s been tough to deal with all the distractions and this just adds to it. We’ll be staying here for a couple nights, so we’ll treat it like a (college) bowl game. In a bowl game you’re typically there for about a week and we’ll be here for about three days. But it has that feel. Everybody is here together; we’ll be hanging out. I’ll probably go get a cheese steak tonight and just hang out."
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