Nationals

Vikings vying for playoffs with sore Peterson

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Vikings vying for playoffs with sore Peterson

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) One year ago, Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier approached the postgame news conference and was ready to bask in the glory of a pre-Christmas victory that snapped a six-game losing streak, even though star running back Adrian Peterson's career was in doubt following a major knee injury.

That was then.

Now, Peterson leads the NFL with 1,898 yards rushing and is only 207 yards away from Eric Dickerson's single-season record, and is dealing with an abdominal injury. And he says he'll be ready to help Minnesota (9-6) in its bid to earn a playoff spot with a victory over the Green Bay Packers (11-4) on Sunday.

``To go through all those tough times the last couple years to get back to where we were in `09, to a point be in the playoff hunt and be on the doorstep now; I think the best part for us is, if you really want to prove it, you win this game, you're in,'' linebacker Chad Greenway said. ``This is everything. All the chips are in now. We wanted this. We asked for it. Let's go. Let's not be scared of it, because there's nothing to lose at this point.''

With Peterson leading the way and trying to become the seventh player in league history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season - he needs 102 to join the club - Minnesota has made an unlikely late-season run to control its playoff destiny. The Vikings would clinch a postseason berth with a win over the NFC North champion Packers on Sunday. A loss by Minnesota opens several scenarios, which includes needing losses by the Chicago Bears (9-6), New York Giants (8-7) and Dallas Cowboys (8-7).

Peterson sat out the final minutes of Sunday's 23-6 win at Houston, with coach Leslie Frazier calling it a precautionary measure. He finished with 86 yards against the Texans, ending his streak of eight 100-yard games.

``Adrian is a little bit sore with his abdominal muscle,'' Frazier said. ``We'll have to see how he does this week, how much work that we'll give him as we get ready for this ball game, which will be a huge ball game for our team.''

The Vikings are also expected to have 14-year veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield available. He suffered a ``small'' fracture in his hand Sunday. He played through the injury, and would wear a soft cast if he goes against the Packers.

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Nationals pay tribute to John Altobelli, another victim in Sunday's helicopter crash

Nationals pay tribute to John Altobelli, another victim in Sunday's helicopter crash

The sports world was shaken on Sunday after hearing the news that legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash earlier that morning.

As the somber evening wore on, more information came out regarding the victims of the tragedy. One of the passengers on the helicopter was longtime Orange Coast College and Cape Cod League manager John Altobelli.

Altobelli's daughter was a teammate of Bryant's daughter, Gianna, and the helicopter was traveling to one of their youth basketball games. Altobelli's wife, Keri, was also on board. There were no survivors.

On Monday, the Nationals Twitter account shared their condolences for Altobelli and his family.

The Nationals were one of the multiple teams to share their sympathy for the Altobelli family. Both New York Mets outfielder Jeff McNeil and Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge played under Altobelli in the Cape Cod League.

Orange Coast was expected to begin its season on Tuesday.

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Dwayne Haskins reflects on bond with Kobe Bryant from pre-draft workouts

Dwayne Haskins reflects on bond with Kobe Bryant from pre-draft workouts

Terrible news hit America on Sunday when word came out that basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others. 

A tragic event for a man and a player that made an impact far beyond basketball. Bryant was known for many things, but more than any, it might have been his competitive spirit. A five-time NBA champion and an 18-time All-Star, Bryant's play was defined by a fluid game and an unstoppable spirit. 

For Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins, he got to see some of Bryant's spirit up close. Last year, before the NFL Draft, Haskins trained at Bryant's gym in Los Angeles, and their encounters made an impression on the signal-caller. 

"He's definitely a guy that brings a lot to the table as far as how he trains, how he prepares and what he expects out of his teammates. Very, very demanding," Haskins said of Bryant. "I want to be able to have that other tool, being able to have that edge that Kobe had. Of course, I play like that, but I'd be able to lead like that. That's why I studied Kobe."

Haskins is one of many young athletes that grew up watching Bryant, and for plenty, idolizing Bryant. 

After the news broke Sunday, Haskins reacted on Twitter.

Haskins said it well: RIP to a legend. Gone too soon. 

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