From Comcast SportsNetEDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- Playing in the season opener has been at the forefront of Adrian Peterson's mind almost since he went down with a torn left ACL in the second-to-last game of the 2011 season.How long it has taken other running backs to return from the injury doesn't concern Peterson. The Minnesota Vikings' star running back has always seen himself as different from everyone else, and he has made it abundantly clear that he expects to play against Jacksonville on Sunday.He has one more week to make his case to Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and his staff.Frazier said on Monday that the Vikings would not make a decision on Peterson's status until game day, and he cautioned that even if Peterson does return, he shouldn't expect the workload he carried before he was injured just yet."We recognize if he's able to get in this first ballgame, it'll be with limited exposure," Frazier said. "We'll talk about it as the week goes on and see how he's doing and if it's even a viable option to let him play."That means fewer carries than Peterson is used to getting as the workhorse and focal point of the Vikings' offense, and likely more work for backup Toby Gerhart.Perhaps the biggest obstacle the Vikings have in handling the situation is Peterson's state of mind. He has worked tirelessly to get himself prepared to help his team, throwing himself into the rehab process from the moment he came out of surgery. With his team coming off a disastrous 3-13 season, Peterson knows they need him in the backfield to have any chance, and the coaches know it, too."You really have to take the emotion out of it," Frazier said. "You have to really hone in on what's best for him, what's best for our team. Adrian is not just another guy on our team. He is in so many ways the face of what we try to do. We have to be able to see the big picture when it comes to him and that's the way we'll approach it."On a rebuilding team coming off of a last-place finish in one of the strongest divisions in the league, the Vikings may not need to rush him back. He felt like he was ready to play in the preseason, but coaches and the team's training staff preferred to take a more gradual approach."I'd love to have him out there, that goes without saying for our entire team," center John Sullivan said. "But at the same time it's out of our hands. I hope he is. But if not, we've got to go forward with the guys that are ready to go."Peterson wasn't available for comment Monday, but he did participate in practice. Coaches will be especially interested to see how he handles himself in Thursday's padded practice."We have to see him get through some things and see how he handles certain things from a mental and physical standpoint," Frazier said. "It's different when there is no endpoint, in his case he knew a few weeks ago he wasn't going to play in the preseason. Now the mindset changes a little bit and we have to see how he handles that."Gerhart emerged as a capable fill-in for Peterson after the injury, the kind of physical runner who gets better as the game goes on and the carries increase. Gerhart had just 24 carries in the first 10 games last season, but his work load increased over the final six games as the Vikings faded from contention.As the carries increased, Gerhart's production did as well. He rushed for 91 yards on 21 carries and caught eight passes for another 42 yards against Denver on Dec. 4, then picked up another 90 yards on 19 carries the following week against Detroit.Peterson went down two weeks later in Washington and Gerhart came through with 11 carries for 109 yards, the first time he's topped 100 yards in a game in his two NFL seasons, and showed that he is up to the task in the NFL."With Toby we can run our offense even if Adrian isn't in there," Frazier said. "We feel like we don't have to change any of our plays. We're very confident and comfortable with Toby being our lead back if that's the case. The same runs that Adrian would have would be the same runs that Toby would have."NOTES:CB Josh Robinson (concussion) and S Mistral Raymond (back) returned to practice after missing the preseason finale. Frazier said they should be ready to play on Sunday. The only player whose chances are questionable right now appears to be backup LB Marvin Mitchell, who has a high ankle sprain. ... The Vikings signed OL Kevin Murphy, DL Ernest Owusu, WR Tori Gurley and WR Chris Summers to the practice squad.
BY SIERA SANTOS, CSN CHICAGO
What experience had the biggest impact on your life and career in sports and why?
I’m often asked why I chose to be in sports broadcasting and the answer is not exactly brief. Most people aren’t familiar with my backstory. While I prefer to tell it face-to-face, here it is in a nutshell: Throughout high school, I had a lot of “problems” (that’s the gentle way of putting it).
I didn’t graduate and instead got my GED while I was in a treatment center in Utah. That summer when I returned home to Arizona, I needed a healthy distraction and, although I had always been a casual Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns fan, I started watching games every day and reading the sports section with my dad over our morning cup of coffee. When the NBA season started, I begged my dad for season tickets. This was the Nash/Stoudemire/Marion Era and tickets were incredibly expensive. While we didn’t get season tickets that year, we went to several regular season and playoff games.
Next season rolled around and, once again, I pleaded with my dad to get us season tickets. He finally broke down and bought a half-season package. We went to nearly every other game. I knew at that point that I wanted to go to games for the rest of my life.
I enrolled in community college for the spring with my heart set on getting a degree in broadcast journalism. Not only did Suns games change the course of my future, it also repaired my relationship with my dad.
TOMBOY: ELEVATING THE DISCUSSION OF GENDER AND SPORTS
Who’s had the biggest impact and why?
It’s difficult to single out one person.
Obviously my parents' unwavering support got me where I am today. If I had to name someone who is currently a mentor-figure in my life, it would definitely be Jesse Sanchez from MLB Network. He always checks in to make sure I’m OK (in both my career and personal life) and he’s given me invaluable feedback and advice.
There aren’t many Latinos working in sports media at national level and he encourages me to embrace who I am.
What are some of the funniest moments you’ve experienced as a woman in sports?
When I tell people I’m a sports broadcaster, the immediate follow-up question tends to be: “Oh, so you like sports?” It’s tough to not respond with something sarcastic so I usually say, “Nope! I hate them!” I just don’t think it’s a question that you would ask a man in sports broadcasting.
What was the most negative moment you’ve experienced? The one that got you fired up or perhaps made you think about quitting.
Overall, most of my interactions are very positive and the majority of athletes are professionals.
But I did have an issue with one player who was unbelievably disrespectful. He had been inappropriate on two previous occasions and I dreaded having to crowd around his locker to do interviews with him after games.
I stopped asking him questions and after one of the scrums, he said: “If you’re not going to ask any questions, move your ass to the back.”
My cameraman was still rolling and the mic was still hot. It was caught on video. Eventually, the issue was resolved with the support of my superiors. However, the entire ordeal was embarrassing and made my job more difficult.
TOMBOY: Q&A WITH CSN CHICAGO'S LEILA RAHIMI
Have you had any teachable moments? i.e. someone made an ignorant comment, but had no idea you were offended – until you said something?
Double-checking the pronunciation of names that I’m not familiar with has been a priority. If you slip-up on a name, viewers will crucify you. Most male broadcasters will be forgiven for a mispronunciation, but it’s not necessarily the same for women.
Any awkward moments?
Whenever an athlete crosses the line and tries to be flirtatious or ask for a date.
It doesn’t happen as often as you’d think, but it’s still uncomfortable.
What are you most proud of?
I’m often asked “Well, what’s next?” The truth is, I’m very happy with where I am. My end goal was to be a team reporter for a regional sports network and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I live in an amazing city and I love what I do. After I dropped out of high school, I never thought I would make it this far, much less graduate college. I’m incredibly grateful to be here and I’m proud of where I am.
A lot of girls look up to you and aspire to be on TV covering sports...What is the most important message you want to send to them?
Be someone that people enjoy working with and being around. Always be open to feedback. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re not 100% sure. Oh, and don’t post anything on social media that you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.
After bouncing back from a two-game losing streak to defeat the Flyers on Wednesday night, the Capitals return home looking to put together another winning streak on Friday against the Oilers.
With NHL phenom Connor McDavid in town to face Alex Ovechkun and the Caps, the late February game has some added buzz to it.
What: Washington Capitals vs. Edmonton Oilers
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
When: 7:00 p.m. ET. (Capitals GameTime live from Verizon Center airs at 6:00 p.m.ET)
How to Watch: Capitals vs. Oilers will be broadcast on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals vs. Oilers game on the NBC Sports live stream
WHEN IS THE CAPITALS VS. OILERS GAME?
The Capitals (40-12-7) take on the Oilers (33-20-8) Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Verizon Center
WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS VS. OILERS GAME ON?
The Capitals vs. Oilers game will be broadcast on CSN Mid-Atlantic. A special, one-hour live edition of Capitals GameTime from Verizon Center will begin at 6:00 p.m. ET, with Capitals Extra following the game.
CAPITALS-OILERS OPEN THREAD
Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans.
For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals Digital Producer JJ Regan and the CSN Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and CSN's Facebook page.