Minnesota Vikings: Player Watch 01 Nov 11

DE Jared Allen missed two practices last week because his wife delivered the couple’s first child, a daughter. How did it affect him? Well, he had a sack for the 10th consecutive game, extending his team record, a forced fumble, a pass deflection and a fumble recovery.

OL Joe Berger must be doing something right up front. The past two weeks, the veteran backup started at center for an injured John Sullivan (concussion) and at right guard for Anthony Herrera. It was his first career start at guard. During those two games, the Vikings set a season-high for offensive yards against the Packers (435) and ran for a total of 350 yards and three touchdowns on 64 carries (5.5).

RB Adrian Peterson, who’s had his share of career days running the ball, had his finest day as a receiver in Sunday’s win over the Panthers. He had a career-high 76 yards and just his third career receiving touchdown on five catches.

KR/PR Marcus Sherels had an outstanding debut as an NFL kickoff returner, going 78 yards with Sunday’s opening kick. However, in his eighth game as the team’s punt returner, he struggled. He returned three punts for a total of two yards. He had a long of nine yards, but lost yardage on the other two returns. He lost five yards on a 52-yard punt for a net of 57 yards lost in field position.

RG Anthony Herrera might return from a knee injury in time for the team’s next game. A bye followed by a Monday night game at Green Bay gives Herrera extra time to make it back from an injury to his left lateral collateral ligament.

CB Cedric Griffin might be the starter that goes to the Vikings’ bench when Antoine Winfield returns after the bye. Struggling to return to form after tearing ACLs in both knees the past two seasons, Griffin has fallen below backupAsher Allen. It was Allen whom the Vikings used to shadow Steve Smith at Carolina on Sunday. The Vikings rarely have a corner shadow one particular receiver, but the Vikings didn’t trust Griffin to cover Smith.