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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