MANKATO — Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson addressed the media for the first time on Tuesday afternoon since suffering an allergic reaction to seafood the day before.
Peterson said he was eating some jambalaya in the team’s cafeteria when his throat and sinuses began to swell up and he had difficulty breathing. He called head trainer Eric Sugarman right away and Sugarman quickly grabbed a doctor and went to treat the running back.
“I think (Sugarman) could tell by the sound of my voice that it was serious,” Peterson said. “That’s why he showed up with a doctor.”
Peterson was transported by ambulance to the local medical clinic where he was given some Benadryl and other medications that quickly counteracted the reaction.
“The ambulance ride was scary, I won’t lie,” he said. “But they did a good job with me. They knew what they were doing.”
Peterson said he’s loves seafood and has been eating it all his life but this was the first time he had a reaction to it. He learned from the doctor that sometimes food allergies develop as you get older.
“I hope that’s not the case with me because I love seafood,” he said. “But, if it is I’ll just have to deal with it.”
Peterson is still working on his own and remains on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. He has no timetable for coming off the list but said he’d like to play in at least one preseason game before the season begins.
Wilf holds court
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf held an impromptu press conference on the MSU practice fields Tuesday afternoon and talked mostly about his expectations for the team and the new Vikings’ stadium.
Wilf remains optimistic that the team will challenge for the division championship. He said having a full complement of draft choices this past April, along with a talented draft class from the year before, should lend itself to improvement in 2012.
As for the stadium, Wilf refused to commit to any time lines except to say that the target date is for the stadium to be ready for the 2016 season. He did not say when the team hopes to break ground on the project.
He wants the new facility to be state of the art and is exploring the possibility of putting a retractable roof on the stadium. Adrian Peterson cast his vote for the roof.
“We have great weather in Minnesota and when the sun is shining you can keep that roof open,” Peterson said. “But when it snows, you close that roof.”
D just getting started
The Vikings’ defense is just beginning to install the playbook and new coordinator Alan Williams said about 20 percent of the schemes are in at this point of training camp.
“We’re taking that fairly slow,” he said. “We want to make sure we install it slowly so the guys get it. We want to go piece by piece; be detailed about what we do.”
Newbies must earn it
Veterans Jamarca Sanford and Mistral Raymond have been practicing as the first-team safeties in camp and coordinator Williams said that’s likely to carry through into at least the first preseason game.
“When guys come in and they’re new, especially rookies, I like to have them earn their spot. Even though (first-round draft choice) Harrison Smith is doing well, and some of the other guys are doing well, it’s important that guys earn the spot.”
Third-year player Tyrone McKenzie had the defensive play of the afternoon practice Tuesday. He jumped in front of a sideline pass from Joe Webb and ran it all the way back for a touchdown.
Offensively, Percy Harvin caught a bomb from Christian Ponder down the middle of the field during 7-on-7 drills.
Guion on fire
Although training camp is only four days old, Williams said nose tackle Letroy Guion has been impressive.
“Letroy has been phenomenal in camp,” Williams said. “It might not seem that way to the naked eye but we have some clips of him just getting off blocks, running to the ball and pursuing.
“On Day 2 he made a play outside the numbers running to the football so we are very pleased with him. On Day 1 he anchored down and held the point. He’ll be fine in there.”
Good depth at LB
Jasper Brinkley has been playing well at middle linebacker while Chad Greenway and Erin Henderson have been looking strong at the outside spots. Coordinator Williams says the depth behind those starters has been impressive, as well.
“Marvin Mitchell has been outstanding, he is multi-talented, he can play every position across the board,” Williams said. “A guy that I heard was lights out on special teams last year, Larry Dean, has performed extremely well at the same position.
“Audie Cole is a deceptively fast linebacker. He gets where he needs to be. He is long, he’s ranging, he’s smart and he’s physical. That’s a good problem for us to have.”