Minnesota Vikings rookie running back Adrian Peterson is on track to return to the field this week, just in time for a pivotal NFC North game against Detroit.
Peterson tore the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee three weeks ago against Green Bay. He missed the last two victories over Oakland and Detroit, but the star rookie had an MRI exam Monday that ``shows excellent healing,'' coach Brad Childress said.
As long as everything goes as planned this week in practice, Childress said he would ease Peterson back against the Lions, splitting carries with veteran Chester Taylor.
Despite missing the past two games, Peterson still leads the NFL with 1,081 yards rushing and is second to Philadelphia's Brian Westbrook with 1,301 yards from scrimmage.
The Vikings (5-6) have won three of their last four games to creep back into the playoff picture in the muddled NFC. Detroit (6-5) has lost three in a row after starting the season 6-2.
Panthers
All those Carolina fans chanting ``We want Moore'' during the Panthers' dismal loss Sunday to New Orleans will have to wait.
Embattled coach John Fox said Monday that 44-year-old Vinny Testaverde, if healthy, would start next week against San Francisco ahead of struggling David Carr and fan favorite rookie Matt Moore.
Testaverde was supposed to start against the Saints, too, but was a late scratch due to a sore back.
``I'm almost a little reluctant to name (a starter),'' Fox said, referring to Carolina's constantly changing QB scenario. ``But I think it would be fair to say if Vinny's healthy, he'll be the guy.''
It was fitting that dense fog hovered around Bank of America Stadium on Monday, a day after the Panthers' lowest point of a season that has quickly spiraled out of control, leading to questions about Fox's job security.
Sunday's 31-6 loss to the Saints was Carolina's fifth straight overall and seventh straight at home dating to last season. It featured brutal quarterback play from Carr, constant boos from fans and effectively eliminated the Panthers (4-7) from playoff contention.
Carr was so bad - 10-of-22 for 95 yards, two interceptions and a passer rating of 20.1 - fans started chanting for Moore late in the first half. Fox eventually yanked Carr after his second interception early in the fourth quarter when the game was decided.
Moore, signed by Carolina after his release by Dallas before the start of the regular season, completed 8 of 14 passes for 66 yards and an interception.
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