Adrian Peterson Injury: Toby Gerhart Will Find Success Starting Against Broncos

Alex KayCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2011

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 26: Toby Gerhart #32 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball against James Sanders #36 of the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on November 26, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Adrian Peterson is going to miss the Minnesota Vikings game today against the Denver Broncos, and Toby Gerhart is going to get another chance to prove himself as the starting RB today.

Gerhart struggled against the Atlanta Falcons last week in his first start of the season, but any back in this league could have had a tough day against their No. 2-ranked rush defense.

He managed just 44 yards on 17 carries, but did score a TD and added two receptions for 19 yards.

Today, he has the No. 19-ranked Denver Broncos ground defense to work against, and he will have better results.

He should be more comfortable in his second start and also ready to shoulder a full workload like he did in college. The second-round pick in the 2010 draft was selected to be the backup to AP, but has not flourished in that role. Now he will get another chance to grind out carries and move the chains for the 2-9 Vikings, who are looking to evaluate the talent they have on their roster as they already look forward to the offseason.

Gerhart should be in line for about 15 to 23 touches today, and he will make the most of them against a Denver defense that isn’t so good at stopping the ground game. It also plays to his strength as a workhorse-type of player that gets better as the game goes on.

If the former Stanford standout is serious about playing in this league and eventually being a starter, he needs to prove to teams that he can step it up and be a stud when it counts. There is no better time than today.

Sure, there is nothing to play for and nothing on the line this year for the Vikings, but good performances will be remembered, even during ultimately meaningless contests, when it comes time for Gerhart to sign a new deal.

Expect him to recognize that and elevate his game big time today.