Vikings vs. Bears: Toby Gerhart Starting For Injured Adrian Peterson

While Brett Favre has annoyed us all by defying the odds and starting tonight, All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson is unable to play tonight against the Chicago Bears with ankle and knee injuries (and apparently a thigh injury as well). In his place, the Minnesota Vikings are starting Stanford rookie running back Toby Gerhart.

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Gerhart has seen limited action at times this season since Adrian Peterson is one of the best running backs in the NFL. However, Peterson has gotten banged up enough that the former Stanford great has had a chance to get some carries. Prior to Week 12 Gerhart had never had more than five carries in a game. However, an early AP injury in week 12 against the Redskins provided Gerhart with his first big opportunity to showcase his skills. He rushed 22 times for 76 yards and his first NFL touchdown. The next week against Buffalo he rushed 12 times for 54 yards as Peterson was eased back into the starting lineup.

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The Vikings just put a touchdown on the board courtesy of a quick swing pass to Percy Harvin, but Gerhart had several big rushes to set up the eventual touchdown. The Vikings ran Gerhart four of the first five plays and he picked up 26 yards total. Harvin had an 11-yard catch in between and then a 23-yard catch for the touchdown. If the Vikings can maintain their lead, we could see a whole lot of Toby Gerhart.

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