EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) – The Vikings team has had to endure a week of uncertainty and maintain that life will be normal if they just focus on New Orleans.
The attempts at normalcy came at practice Wednesday in Winter Park.
It looked like a normal practice, and the goal is to try to make it a normal week, but for many on the team that is almost impossible.
“I was a little surprised. Last thing I heard was he was going to be able to play. So, you know when I woke up to that, I couldn’t go back to sleep,” Jerome Felton said.
The players want to believe that they can just turn the switch to football, but the media and most people they talk to won’t let that happen.
“There’s no relief. You know, it’s always going to be a distraction,” Everson Griffen said. “The best running back in the NFL, he’s not with us. But at the same time we have to be professional about it and go out there and execute our assignment, and play the style of ball we know how.”
“You never want to see a friend or a teammate get his name talked about or tarnished the way that AP has here recently. I feel for him as a friend,” Jarius Wright said.
While many Vikings play it close to the vest when discussing Adrian Peterson, not all do. Some see a culture that they grew up in and they have a tough time understanding why Peterson still is not with the team.
Captain Munnerlyn believes she should never have been suspended.
“I don’t think it’s fair at all. I really don’t, in my personal opinion. I don’t think it’s fair at all. He should be able to play. He hasn’t been convicted of anything,” Munnerlyn said.
But other players recognize the best thing is to focus internally, and play a hard game.
“Just focus on yourself. I know it sounds kind of selfish. But you need to perfect your craft, and do the best you can do so you can perform well on Sunday and help your team win,” Blair Walsh said.
The Vikings take on the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Sept. 21 without Peterson.