Vikings running back Adrian Peterson missed practice for a second straight day as he deals with a personal matter, but the expectation is that he will be at Saturday night’s game in Kansas City.
That doesn’t mean Peterson will play against the Chiefs, though. Head coach Mike Zimmer said the other day he doesn’t feel the need to see Peterson in the preseason, so we probably won’t see him.
Also missing today’s muggy morning practice or watching from the side were nose tackle Linval Joseph (calf), cornerback Jabari Price (arm/shoulder), and linebackers Brandon Watts (lower leg) and Gerald Hodges (knee). None of those four players are expected to suit up against the Chiefs.
Outside linebacker Chad Greenway (wrist) did, as promised, practice fully today after being held out of team drills yesterday. And he delivered the highlight of an uneventful practice when he kicked the football into the woods after dropping a would-be interception near the goal zone. It was a pretty impressive punt, but consider Zimmer unimpressed. Zimmer told the veteran to not do that again, and moments later, Greenway emerged from the trees carrying not one, but two footballs.
For the first time since he was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013, Vikings top quarterback Matt Cassel will return to the city where he experienced probably the highest and lowest points of his NFL career, along with a bunch of personal memories Cassel will always cherish.
After Cassel’s breakout 2008 season in New England following a season-ending knee injury to Tom Brady, the Chiefs acquired him in 2009 and paid him big bucks to be their starter. A season later, the Chiefs won their division as Cassel had his only Pro Bowl season, tossing a career-high 27 touchdown passes with just seven interceptions.
But the honeymoon didn’t last for much longer after that, and things got so bad for Cassel during his turnover-plagued 2012 season that some fans at Arrowhead Stadium cheered when Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata knocked him out of an ugly game that the Ravens won, 9-6.
Still, despite that, Cassel said all the right things today about returning to Arrowhead Stadium.
“I’m excited to go back to Kansas City,” he said. “I haven’t been back since I left a few years ago. I’ve got a lot of close family friends there. We enjoyed our time there. My three children were born there. So I’ve got a lot of good memories in Kansas City, so it will be fun to go back and play.”
Cassel said he has “no ill will” towards the organization, and he said he is excited to catch up with the many familiar faces who were kind to him during his four years with the Chiefs.
“I’ve moved on. They’ve moved on. And it will be exciting to get out there and play against a good football team with a good defense as well,” said Cassel, who still owns a home in the K.C. area.
As for the quarterback competition that he is leading, Cassel said the coaches haven’t told him when a decision will be made, so he is only worried about playing well Saturday against the Chiefs.
“At this point, it’s just going to be one of those things where we just wait and see,” Cassel said. “Coach will make that ultimate decision. At the end of the day, I’m going to continue to prepare and do what I need to do to get ready for the season. And then when the time comes and coach tells us, then that’s what we’ll have to deal with.”