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Adrian Peterson returns to practice, hopes to play against Packers

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.--Adrian Peterson said Monday he will return to practice this week at Winter Park and plans to return to the field for a Dec. 24 matinee in Green Bay.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.-Adrian Peterson said Monday he will return to practice this week at Winter Park and plans to return to the field for a Dec. 24 matinee in Green Bay.

In a 15-minute interview with St. Paul native DJ Skee on Dash Radio, the 31-year-old running back said rehabbing from a torn meniscus suffered in Week 2 "has been a grind" but he still thinks the Vikings can play in the Super Bowl near his home in Houston.

"My eyes are still set on being in Houston for the Super Bowl," he said. "That's been my vision. With us still in the (playoff) hunt, that hasn't changed at all."

Sunday's 25-16 victory at Jacksonville keeps the Vikings (7-6) alive for an NFC postseason spot, although their NFC North title hopes are slim with Detroit sitting 9-4 after Sunday's victory over Chicago.

Peterson stopped well short of saying he would be available for this Sunday's game against Indianapolis at U.S. Bank Stadium.

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"I plan on practicing this week to really get my legs under me and get a good feel on where I'm at," he told the Internet radio network. "So, this week is going to be big for me. My plan, and my vision, is to be back for the Green Bay game. That's what I'm envisioning.

"Of course, the perfect scenario would be we win out and I'm able to rest up for three weeks and be ready for the playoffs. That's the perfect scenario. But I'll be out there this week practicing, and I'll go from there."

Peterson had surgery to repair a torn meniscus after being injured in the Vikings' second game. In 2012, he returned within a year of knee reconstruction surgery to gain 2,097 yards and win the NFL MVP award. He also missed all but one game in 2014, in part because of an NFL suspension related to a child abuse arrest.

Meanwhile, Sharrif Floyd's season is officially over three months after the enigmatic defensive tackle was shelved following a Week 1 knee injury.

The Vikings placed the fourth-year man on injured reserve and promoted undrafted defensive tackle Toby Johnson from the practice squad to take his place on the 53-man roster.

Floyd had surgery Sept. 22 to repair cartilage in his left knee, but the Vikings avoided placing him on season-ending IR in the hope he could return to the lineup.

"We kept hanging around and hanging around," coach Mike Zimmer said. "We needed the roster spot at some point."

Floyd has missed 20 games since coming to the team as a 2013 first-round draft pick out of Florida. He had surgery in 2015 to repair cartilage in his right knee.

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Floyd is under contract in 2017, but the Vikings have to decide whether to exercise his fifth-year option before his salary is fully guaranteed in March.

"I don't really want to assess him to the media," Zimmer said. "I'll assess him to (general manager) Rick (Spielman) when we sit down and talk (after the season)."

Zimmer's return to the sideline wearing a patch over his injured right eye prompted cornerback Captain Munnerlyn to call him a "warrior."

The 60-year-old head coach was under doctor's orders to wear the taped bandage over his eye and specialty sunglasses in Sunday's 25-16 victory at sunny Jacksonville.

Zimmer said he faces another surgery and will not have his vision fully restored the rest of the season. He has had at least three operations since Nov. 1 to repair a torn retina.

He was asked Monday if he is trying to set a tough example by coaching through his malady.

"I need to be there for me. I don't know about for them," he said. "Since the day I walked in the building here, I've talked about toughness. If you're going to preach it, you need to walk the walk, too."

Related Topics: MINNESOTA VIKINGS
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