Sunday, September 9, 2012

Adrian Peterson a game-time call

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings are willing to wait until game time to determine whether running back Adrian Peterson plays in the season opener against Jacksonville.
Coach Leslie Frazier said after Friday's practice there is no reason to decide before the active list must be declared 90 minutes ahead of kickoff on Sunday. This was a back track from Thursday, when Frazier said the Vikings would figure out Peterson's status on Friday night or Saturday morning.

"We'll definitely have an answer on Sunday, one way or another," Frazier said, innocently stating the obvious.
Peterson was listed as questionable to play the Jaguars on the injury report, which by definition gives him a 50-50 chance. The 27-year-old two-time All-Pro pick is recovering from reconstructive surgery to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee last Christmas Eve. He's had no setbacks during his rehabilitation, and all signs have pointed to his participation.
Frazier has repeatedly refused to grant Peterson, arguably the franchise's most important player, clearance ahead of time. The coaches and trainers will discuss Peterson's status further this weekend, Frazier said, before reaching their decision. But the Vikings have already acknowledged their plan to limit Peterson's carries, with Toby Gerhart getting the majority of the work, and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said on Thursday he doesn't have much doubt that Peterson will be able to play.
Peterson, of course, has been the one pushing the conversation. As fiercely determined as any player in the NFL, he has steadfastly assured his readiness for the start of the 2012 season since he began working out in the spring.
The Vikings ruled three backups and special teams players out of Sunday's game: linebacker Marvin Mitchell, safety Andrew Sendejo and wide receiver Jarius Wright. They all have sprained ankles; the team hasn't specified on which legs. Backup cornerback Marcus Sherels, the primary punt returner and alternate kickoff returner when Percy Harvin is given a break, has recovered from his sprained ankle, however, and was listed as probable.
Four other players who were fighting injuries at the end of training camp have healed and are probable for Sunday as well: safety Robert Blanton, tight end John Carlson, defensive tackle Letroy Guion and guard Geoff Schwartz. Guion and Carlson are starters. They each suffered sprained right knees earlier in the preseason.
Frazier also said the Vikings likely will use both rookie Josh Robinson and second-year player Brandon Burton as their third cornerback in the nickel defense, when middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley comes out of the game. Cornerback A.J. Jefferson and offensive tackle Mark Asper, both acquired last weekend, will probably be inactive for Sunday's game, Frazier said.

Jaguars activate Maurice Jones-Drew

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have activated running back Maurice Jones-Drew and waived second-year running back Keith Toston.

The Jaguars had a roster exemption for Jones-Drew, who ended a 38-day holdout last Sunday. He is expected to play in Sunday's season opener at Minnesota.
Toston, a four-year letterman at Oklahoma State, spent the 2010 season with St. Louis. He signed with Jacksonville in August, carrying 22 times for 171 yards and a touchdown in the preseason.
He had been competing with Jalen Parmele for a roster spot. Both made the 53-man roster, but only because Jones-Drew had not reported.
The Jaguars ended up keeping Parmele over Toston mostly because of special teams.

Mark Teixeira rips umps.

BALTIMORE -- New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira reinjured his left calf sprinting to first base on a game-ending double play that left the tying run at third in the Yankees' 5-4 loss to the Orioles on Friday.
After watching replays that clearly showed his head-first slide beat the relay, Teixeira questioned the umpire crews' integrity.

"Sometimes you wonder if the umpires are just trying to get out of there," said Teixeira, who had argued a strike three call in the eighth. "They don't want you to make a comeback. They want to go home because those were terrible calls. It is what it is. We are out there fighting. I'm out there playing on one leg. I wish it had gone my way."
Teixeira already had argued with home-plate umpire Cory Blaser in the eighth when he thought a called third strike on a 3-2 pitch was "five or six inches outside."
After first-base umpire Jerry Meals called him out to end the game, Teixeira said he told him, "You got me again."
"I'm probably going to get fined," Teixeira said. "But I don't care, really. I'm out there fighting. We are out there fighting. When you are battling like we are battling and they can't get a call right, that pisses you off. It really does."
Teixeira had missed the previous 10 games before returning Saturday from his calf strain. He said he is "most likely" out of Sunday's game. Teixeira estimated he is not "even close" to 100 percent and did not know how much time he would miss. The Yankees are off on Monday.
"I don't want to make any predictions," he said. "I probably won't be in there (Sunday)."
He said he only slid head-first because he was forced to go all out to try to beat the relay.
"I don't think I've ever dove into first base in my life," Teixeira said. "I couldn't get there running. I did my best. I got there, but the call didn't go our way."

Teixeira wasn't the only Yankee who criticized the umpires Saturday. Manager Joe Girardi didn't hide his feelings, either.
"He was clearly safe," Girardi said. "Jerry missed it. You hate to lose a game that way, but he missed it."
"I didn't feel we lost the game, I feel we got cheated out of it," Yankees catcher Russell Martin said. "Once again, it is part of the game of baseball. Umpires are human. They are going to make mistakes."
Yankees president Randy Levine called an impromptu teleconference with reporters, but then canceled. According to a team spokesman, Levine may make a statement or talk with the media Sunday.
With the loss, the Yankees and Orioles are tied again for first place in the AL East.