NFL Notes: Adrian Peterson returns to practice

NFL Notes: Adrian Peterson returns to practice

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Adrian Peterson was back on the practice field on Wednesday for the first time in nearly three months, and the Minnesota Vikings hope their star running back can give them the jolt they need to chase down a playoff berth.

Peterson's rehab of a torn meniscus in his right knee is nearly complete, allowing him to rejoin his teammates at practice as he ramps up for a highly anticipated return. Wearing a black brace on his right knee, Peterson took handoffs from Sam Bradford, ran routes and went through some agility drills during the portion of practice that was open to media.

Peterson was not available for comment on Wednesday, but did tell a local website earlier in the week that he is still targeting the Dec. 24 game in Green Bay for his first game since the injury against those same Packers in Week 2.

Coach Mike Zimmer did not rule out Peterson playing against the Indianapolis Colts (6-7) on Sunday, but that appears optimistic at this point. Peterson said last week that he likely would not play in a game this year if the Vikings (7-6) were eliminated from the playoff hunt, but after beating Jacksonville last weekend they remain very much in the mix in the NFC.

Cardinals: WR Michael Floyd released
TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver Michael Floyd on Wednesday, two days after he was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and failure to obey a police officer.

Floyd was taken into custody after being found unconscious behind the wheel of his running vehicle at an intersection in suburban Scottsdale early Monday. He was booked and released from the Scottsdale jail later that morning.

Coach Bruce Arians said at the time that he was gathering information to determine "what our options are going forward."

Floyd, a first-round pick by the Cardinals in 2012, had 33 catches for 446 yards and four touchdowns this season. Those were well off his 2015 stats, when he overcame early injury problems to catch 52 passes for 849 yards.

Colts: Luck expects to play despite soreness
INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck says he expects to play Sunday against Minnesota after missing Wednesday's practice with a sore throwing shoulder and a sore right elbow.

The Indianapolis Colts (6-7) have given Luck some extra days off this season in hopes of keeping him healthy.

But after sitting out Wednesday, Luck acknowledged that he was injured during last weekend's loss to the defending AFC South champion Houston Texans and that he deferred to the doctors and trainers.

He compared the soreness he's feeling now to how he felt after a Week 3 victory over San Diego when he also missed practice time.

Still, Luck said he "absolutely" would be ready to play against the Vikings (7-6).

Lions: Stafford throws with glove on hurt finger
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had a different look at practice Wednesday.

H wore a glove on his right throwing hand that covered only his injured middle finger. He seemed to throw accurately with a decent degree of velocity to teammates during the portion of practice that was open to reporters.

The New York Giants will provide a much tougher test for Stafford's ability to pass effectively with a banged-up finger outdoors and on the road this weekend.

Stafford hurt his finger in the first quarter of Sunday's win over Chicago. He played the rest of the game with a glove covering all his fingers and thumb on his right hand.

Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

USA Today Images

Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

Brian Dawkins has chosen longtime teammate and close friend Troy Vincent to introduce him this summer at Dawk's Hall of Fame induction.

Dawkins was selected in February for enshrinement in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class.

"The presenter that will actually be on the stage will be Troy Vincent," Dawkins said in a video posted on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's website.

"My teammate in Philadelphia. We came there the same year. Almost from Day 1 he kind of ... not kind of, he took me under his wing on becoming a professional. Not just a football player but a professional. The details. The details that he went through, the particulars of how he played the position of cornerback was the same way he lived his life (and ran) his businesses that he had off the field.

"He's a guy I can call anytime. Any time of night. And tell him 100 percent all what's going on with me, and I know he's not going to judge me, and it's not going to leave his lips (for) anybody else.

"And the most important thing for me, being a man of faith, is that I know he's going to pray with me. So all those things combined are the reasons why Troy was the perfect guy to introduce me to the Hall of Fame."

Vincent, a native of Trenton and graduate of Pennsbury High in Fairless Hills, Bucks County, spent his first four seasons with the Dolphins before signing an offer sheet with the Eagles before the 1996 season that the Dolphins didn't match.

The Eagles drafted Dawkins in the second round a month after signing Vincent, and the two spent eight years together in the secondary, reaching the playoffs five times and the NFC Championship Game three times.

During those eight seasons, Vincent reached Pro Bowls and Dawkins made the first three of his nine Pro Bowls.

Vincent retired after the 2006 season and Dawkins after the 2011 season.

Dawkins, Vincent and Eric Allen are the only Eagles defensive backs picked to five or more Pro Bowls.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame 2018 enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.

Dawkins' former Eagles teammate, Terrell Owens, will also be inducted. He hasn't yet announced who will present him.

Dawkins will be the 21st former Eagle inducted into the Hall of Fame but only the ninth who spent the majority of his career with the Eagles.

Was Carson Wentz sending Nick Foles a message with Instagram video?

USA Today Images

Was Carson Wentz sending Nick Foles a message with Instagram video?

Offseason quarterback controversies are a rite of passage in the NFL. A time-honored tradition, really. 

We’ve certainly had our share in Philadelphia over the years. There were calls for Ron Jaworski to sit in favor of a young Randall Cunningham. Then cries for Jim McMahon to take Randall’s place. When Andy Reid drafted Kevin Kolb in 2007, that began a groundswell that he was the better choice than Donovan McNabb. Of course, most recently we had the Michael Vick/Nick Foles back and forth. To look back now, it seems silly these were even debates.

Most of the time, when you have these “controversies,” it generally means you have no quarterback on your roster. Not always. The 49ers in the late-80’s and early-90’s had Joe Montana and Steve Young, both Hall of Famers and all-time great quarterbacks. Both also won Super Bowls for San Francisco. But that is the exception. So is the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles’ situation.

I use the word “situation” and not “controversy.” Because there is no controversy. If Wentz is cleared by the Eagles’ medical staff, he starts Week 1. Period. What Foles did was incredible and will go down as one of the great — if not the greatest — stretch we have seen in Philadelphia sports history. He came up as big as you can. But Wentz he is not. That’s no disrespect to Foles. There are a handful of people on the planet who are in Wentz’s class.

Just a refresher course on what Wentz did in 13 games last season (his second in the NFL, by the way). He threw for 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 3,296 passing yards and had a 101.9 passer rating. The 33 TDs were the second-most in the NFL despite his missing the final three games. He also led his team to an 11-2 record before succumbing to that knee injury late into that Rams game that clinched the NFC East. He would have been the league MVP had he not gotten hurt.

There is a great luxury having Foles on this team. Wentz does not have to come back before he is able. If he’s not ready, you have the best backup in the league to start the season. But that’s the only scenario in which Foles plays Week 1. Simply put: Wentz is the better quarterback. And he has earned the right to start the opener if cleared. 

Some people read into Wentz's Instagram video of himself throwing earlier in the week as him somehow sending a message to Foles. I don’t buy it. I think Wentz’s message was to the fans and himself that I’ll be back, better than ever.

Wentz and Foles are both good teammates who put the team above themselves. Sure, Foles is a competitor and would likely prefer to start. But there won’t be any behind-the-scenes maneuvering to undercut Wentz. And Wentz is secure enough to be able to handle a Super Bowl MVP backing him up and all that goes along with that. Not to mention a coaching staff and organization that won’t allow outside noise to become a distraction.

Wentz over Foles. There’s no quarterback controversy.