The second week of preseason usually means more action for starters, but it’s unclear if Minnesota Vikings superstar and reigning MVP Adrian Peterson will suit up on Friday night against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has been mum on when Peterson, who nearly broke the single-season rushing record last year, will make his 2013 debut. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, if Peterson does play against Buffalo it won’t be for more than a couple of snaps, and he’s more likely to get more time against San Francisco next week.
Quarterback Christian Ponder is certain to get more than the two passes he threw against Houston last week in the Vikings 27-13 loss. Back-up Matt Cassel instead tallied 212 yards, with one touchdown and a pick, while going 12-for-19.
Ponder’s chemistry with newest receiver Greg Jennings will be of major concern to Viking fans, the team is still trying to work out who will be the second option in the passing game. First-round draft pick Cordarrelle Patterson, along with Jarius Wright, and Stephen Burton are all vying to the No. 2 receiver slot. Burton was impressive with three catches for 67 yards against Houston.
But what the Vikings really need to work on is the team’s rushing defense. Minnesota gave up 133 yards on the ground to Houston after ranking 11th against the rush last year.
Meanwhile Buffalo will start quarterback Kevin Kolb, a week removed from a freak knee injury. Kolb slipped on a rubber mat, and the start went to rookie E.J. Manuel, who went 16-for-21 for 107 yards and a touchdown in a 44-20 rout of the Indianapolis Colts.
Fellow rookie passer Jeff Tuel also completed 10 consecutive passes to start the third quarter, and finished 19-for-23 for 212 yards and two touchdowns.
Humming for most of the game, the Bills offense totaled 451 yards. Second year receiver Marcus Easley emerged with seven balls for 94 yards, and should see more time with top wide outs Steve Johnson and T.J. Graham sitting out against Minnesota with knee injuries.
The game kicks-off at 7 p.m. ET and a live online stream is available by subscription on the NFL’s official site here.
The Vikings feed will come from KARE 11, but unfortunately the game will be blacked out by WNY in Buffalo, but re-airs maybe available on Saturday on WKBW and WHAM.
Betting Odds: Buffalo is favored by 3.5 points.
Over/Under: 43 points
Prediction: Buffalo 27, Minnesota 17