Adrian Peterson (Wesley Hitt/Getty)
Adrian Peterson took home another award, but this one had as much to do with his off-the-field dedication and attitude as his on-field production. He is the Vikings’ 2012 Ed Block Courage Award winner, as voted by his teammates.
When Adrian Peterson takes the field Sunday against the Houston Texans, it will be one day short of a year since the knee injury that put his career in jeopardy. 365 days later (2012 was a leap year), Peterson will be back on the field in search of the best rushing season of all time.
Thanks to the best eight-game rushing streak in NFL history (1,313 yards in those eight games), Peterson will be on the short list of contenders for every award possible that he is eligible to win, from MVP to Offensive Player of the Year to Comeback Player of the Year to the already-wrapped up FedEx Ground Player of the Year.
On Tuesday, Peterson was honored with an award that may mean as much or more than any accolade the league, its sponsor organizations or the media can bestow upon him. He was named the 2012 Ed Block Courage Award winner, one that was voted on by his teammates.
Since 1984, each NFL team has annually awarded the Ed Block award – a honor given by the players of each team to the teammate they believe most exemplifies the commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. The ideals of the award honor Ed Block, a Word War II veteran who served under Gen. George Patton and was the head trainer of the Baltimore Colts from 1954-77.
The 32 winners travel to Baltimore in March to receive their trophies at an annual gala that includes a visit to a facility that specializes in working with abused children.
Peterson joins a stellar list of Vikings that have won the award that includes Anthony Herrera, Cedric Griffin, E.J. Henderson, Kenechi Udeze, Chad Greenway, Matt Birk, Koren Robinson, Corey Chavous, Eric Kelly, Lewis Kelly, Daunte Culpepper, Gary Anderson, Robert Griffith, Randall Cunningham, Robert Smith, Scottie Graham, John Randle Cris Carter, Henry Thomas, Darrin Nelson, Terry Allen, Gary Zimmerman, Jim Gustafson, Leo Lewis, Scott Studwell, Walker Lee Ashley, Keith Nord and Steve Riley.
Denver practice squad center Quentin Saulsberry, who was one of the Vikings’ final roster cuts Aug. 31, has been suspended four games for violating the league’s performance enhancing drug policy. Saulsberry had been signed Sept. 3 by the Broncos and spent the entire season on their eight-man practice squad. Because he isn’t on the active roster, he doesn’t count against the Broncos practice squad. With just two games left in the regular season, it’s unlikely the Broncos will bring Saulsberry back if he has time left to serve on his suspension. As a fringe player, it may mark the end of his career.
Break up the Seahawks! In the last two games, Seattle has outscored its opponents 108-17. The last time that happened, it was done by the Chicago Cardinals in October 1941 – two weeks before the outbreak of World War II with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Now that’s a record that stood for awhile. Yes, it was Arizona and Buffalo that provided the butts in the butt-kickings, but any record that stands for 72 years before being broken is impressive.
From the “We Got the Boys At M.I.T. On This:” Most believed that the Vikings need to win both of their remaining games to make the playoffs and there is a chance that they could win both and still miss out on the postseason. However, the Vikings could lose Sunday and still make the playoffs. It would take some doing (O.K. a lot of doing), but if Washington was to win the NFC East and the Vikings, Bears, Cowboys and Giants would all finish tied at 9-7 (the Vikings would have to beat Green Bay in Week 17 to get to 9-7), Minnesota would be the second wild card team and play the No. 3 seed (most likely Green Bay or San Francisco). It may still be a potentially Happy New Year even if the Vikings lose two days before Christmas.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.