Schedule, Vikings' struggles likely to limit Gerhart's mop-up role
When Adrian Peterson went off on a cart in the second quarter Sunday, head in his hands, it certainly seemed like the end of the fantasy season for some. While the Vikings have struggled, Peterson has been a fantasy stud yet again this year, rushing for 872 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Peterson has a high ankle sprain. It's a Grade 1, the least severe type, but he'll still be in a walking boot until Thursday. SI.com's Will Carroll says he could miss 2-4 weeks. Peterson had been dealing with an ankle injury from earlier in the year, and it's easy to envision a scenario where he's out for the remainder or majority of the season. The Vikings are 2-8.
Toby Gerhart wasn't that successful in relief on Sunday. Peterson had only rushed six times for 26 yards and a touchdown before he sprained his ankle, but he had just broken a nice run before the injury and the Raiders' run defense hasn't been good this season.
Gerhart finished with just seven carries for 18 yards. The Vikings were down most of the game and were throwing; Gerhart just didn't get many opportunities. Could he be stronger in the coming weeks? The upcoming matchups for Minnesota aren't great: Atlanta, Denver and Detroit are good against the run; Detroit and Atlanta are 27th and 28th in fantasy points allowed.
Gerhart played only 85 snaps this season before Sunday, according to Pro Football Focus. (Hey, if anything he's fresh!) If he can get into a rhythm with regular playing time, he could put up passable numbers; the Vikings' offensive line is good at run blocking. There are probably better options if you're an Adrian Peterson owner, though.