Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has yet to practice this week for the team, and it is looking more and more unlikely that he'll suit up for Sunday's season finale against the Detroit Lions.
A year after he challenged for the all-time rushing record, Peterson has only 1,266 rushing yards (plus 171 receiving yards) in 14 games this season. He still ranks sixth overall in fantasy scoring among running backs, but it's a far cry from his runaway No. 1 slot of a year ago.
Fantasy impact: If you're the Vikings, why would you even consider playing Peterson in a basically meaningless game? He's still the future of the team, and it doesn't make any sense to run him out there for no reason.
Peterson has slipped to sixth among in fantasy scoring among running backs, with only five fantasy points in the last three weeks (he missed a game). Ultimately, his fantasy season has to be viewed as a disappointment on the whole, with fewer than 10 fantasy points seven different weeks and a virtual no-show in the fantasy playoffs. Assuming he misses Sunday, there is every chance Eddie Lacy and DeMarco Murray could leapfrog Peterson in the running-back rankings, and there is a very remote chance he could fall out of the running backs' top 10.
If Peterson doesn't go, the team will likely turn to Toby Gerhart and/or Matt Asiata -- Gerhart is injured as well -- to run the ball. Gerhart has had his moments, but his hamstring injury makes him concerning. Asiata had a big game in Week 15 in his one appearance, but that was likely a mirage, and the Lions feature a strong run defense. It's hard to imagine using any Viking running back in Week 17.