Sports

Playing without Peterson: Vikings realize 'Saints aren't going to feel sorry for us'

  • FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2014, file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata heads for the end zone after catching a 25-yard pass for a touchdown during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Minneapolis. NFL teams make succession plans all the time for players moving past their prime, but the sudden absence of Adrian Peterson from Minnesota's backfield could not have been anticipated. So the Vikings will make due with a low-profile group led by Asiata, an undrafted third-year player with 62 career carries. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2014, file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata heads for the end zone after catching a 25-yard pass for a touchdown during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Minneapolis. NFL teams make succession plans all the time for players moving past their prime, but the sudden absence of Adrian Peterson from Minnesota's backfield could not have been anticipated. So the Vikings will make due with a low-profile group led by Asiata, an undrafted third-year player with 62 career carries. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson talks with a teammate during NFL football practice at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson talks with a teammate during NFL football practice at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)  (The Associated Press)

  • Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata carries the ball during NFL football practice at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

    Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata carries the ball during NFL football practice at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minn., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)  (The Associated Press)

NFL teams make succession plans all the time for players moving past their prime. The sudden absence of Adrian Peterson from Minnesota's backfield, however, could not have been anticipated.

The Vikings will try to make due with an unproven group of running backs led by Matt Asiata, an undrafted third-year player with 62 career carries. Rookie Jerick McKinnon will also have opportunities to run the ball and catch it.

There's also the matter of moving on without one of the team's inspirational leaders. There's been no denying from Vikings players that Peterson will be missed, but the message this week in preparation for the game Sunday at New Orleans has been clear: "The Saints aren't going to feel sorry for us."

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