I’ve never met a RB who didn’t want more touches and both Toby Gerhart and Adrian Peterson are certainly no exception. Peterson has joked on multiple occasions during his weekly press conferences that he’d be okay with 40 or 50 carries a game and Gerhart, a complementary back to Peterson after starring at Stanford, is certainly anxious for more touches.
Though the touches won’t come via QB Brett Favre on a handoff, both Gerhart and Peterson might be in line for more opportunities this Sunday if Percy Harvin is unable to fulfill his role as a kickoff returner. Harvin injured his ankle last week in New England on a 1st-quarter reception. He was able to finish the game but he was held out of practice on Wednesday and his status remains up in the air for this week’s contest against the Arizona Cardinals. And even if Harvin is able to suit up and play, the coaching staff might elect to use him exclusively as an offensive target to save some wear and tear on the ailing ankle.
If Harvin is not returning kicks this Sunday for the Vikings, special teams coordinator Brian Murphy told reporters that Gerhart and Peterson would be next in line. We’ve seen Peterson return kicks in the past for the Vikings – he returned one 53 yards against the Chicago Bears in 2007 to set up an eventual game-winning 54-yard FG by Ryan Longwell.
Time will tell if Harvin will be able to fulfill his role as kickoff returner. If he can’t, the duty will fall into capable hands.