Adrian Peterson injury creates opportunity for Matt Asiata with Vikings

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings will be without both of their top two running backs Sunday.

Both Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart will miss Minnesota's Sunday clash with the Philadelphia Eagles, K-TWIN's Sean Jensen is reporting.

Peterson's 1,221 rushing yards this season rank second in the NFL (behind LeSean McCoy, who will be on the other side of the field Sunday), and the loss of last year's MVP will likely be felt on the field for the Vikings.

Gerhart, a four-year veteran, is Peterson's backup and is averaging a career-best 7.9 yards per carry with two touchdowns (the scores are also a career high).

With both players out, expect the Vikings to turn to Matt Asiata and Joe BanyardIan Rapoport is reporting. Asiata has three career rushes for nine yards -- all coming last season -- while Banyard has yet to play in an NFL game.

An all-conference player at Utah, Asiata was a part of the Utes team that went undefeated and beat Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. He went undrafted out of college, playing briefly in the United Football League before being signed by the Vikings and placed on the practice squad. Asiata beat out Jordan Todman and Lex Hilliard for the coveted third running back spot at the start of the 2012 season.

The Eagles have been a middle-of-the-pack team in terms of rushing defense, averaging 112.8 yards per game on the ground (16th in the league). Their pass defense has been horrendous, however, giving up 285.5 yards per game (31st in the league).

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