By Joseph Gunther
Adrian Peterson became the 28th player in NFL history to surpass 10,000 rushing yards in Sunday’s overtime win over the Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field.
“It really means a lot,” Peterson said after the game. “A lot of guys over the years have contributed to it. I was saying earlier, Matt Birk, Steve Hutchinson, Bryant McKinnie, the guys from this year, (John Sullivan), my fullback through the years. Just to be in that elite group, it’s truly a blessing. God has really blessed me to be surrounded by some great guys to help me get to that goal. I sit here and I’m just humbled.”
Only two players have reached the mark in fewer than Peterson’s 101 career games.
“Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson and the guys that I looked up to, the guys that motivated me to be better than them and I still have a long way to go,” Peterson said. “I’ve reached this mark and it’s great, give God all of the glory for blessing me and to be in a position to accomplish all of the things that I have accomplished so far, but I still have a long way to go to surpass those guys, and that is what I look to do.”
Peterson has always wanted to be the best and will not stop until he is.
“This has been my mindset since I was young, to be the best to every play,” Peterson said. “You have got to believe it in order to accomplish it. So if you would have told me that I would have been like, ‘Hmm, he is thinking what I’m thinking’.”
Emmitt Smith is the league’s all-time leading rusher with 18,355 yards. He reached that total in 15 seasons (1,223.67 yards per season). Peterson has 10,057 through 6.75 seasons (1,489.9 yards per season).
Henderson suits, but doesn’t play
Erin Henderson was in uniform and active for Sunday’s game, but the veteran middle linebacker did not play. He sat the previous week for personal reasons, but may have been surpassed on the depth by second-year seventh round draft pick Audie Cole.
“It was more about Audie,” Leslie Frazier said about Henderson not playing Sunday. “I thought he played another good ballgame. I’ll take a look at the tape to verify it but everything I saw from the sideline, he looked like he did everything that we would want in that position, so good job by Audie Cole.”
Cole has totaled 22 tackles, one sack and one pass defensed in his two starts.
Vikings get Patterson more involved
Cordarrelle Patterson has become more involved in the Vikings offense lately. The first round draft pick became the first Vikings rookie to score a touchdown on a reception, return and run. He turned his first play lined up in the back on a toss sweep and broke a few tackles for a 33-yard touchdown run.
“To be honest, we’ve been practicing that since Week 2 and we’ve never had a chance to use it and the time was called now,” Patterson said about his carry. “I’m just trying to be like (Peterson) back there, I told him, ‘You better watch out I’m coming through’.”
Patterson recorded a career-high eight catches and 54 yards last week against the Green Bay Packers. Early in the season, he was primarily a kick returner. He didn’t record his eighth catch until Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers.
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Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. Joseph is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.