NFL notes: Peterson expects to play in Vikings' opener

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. (REUTERS/Eric Miller)

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. (REUTERS/Eric Miller)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 11:59 PM ET

'All Day' expects to be AOK when the 2012 season kicks off in September.

Adrian Peterson said Wednesday that he would be "very surprised" if he doesn't play in the Minnesota Vikings' season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The four-time Pro Bowler had surgery to repair his knee four months ago and has already started running without a brace. He estimated he's only 50% healthy, at least in terms of explosiveness and cutting ability, but still way ahead of schedule.

"I will be very surprised (if I don't play)," Peterson said during a media availability Wednesday. "Me personally, because that's my goal -- I set expectations high and my goals high -- and that first game against Jacksonville, I plan on being back. So it'll be disappointing if I'm not."

Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman wasn't as sure Peterson would be in the lineup Sept. 9.

"I love Adrian," Sugarman told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "But let's make this clear: I'm still not going to be quoted as saying he's going to play in the first game. That's not fair. I don't know that. He'll keep throwing that out there. And good for him. That's great.

"That's obviously our goal, to get him playing the first game. But only if he's functionally safe to do it. This is our franchise. We can't be foolish about this."

Peterson blew out his left knee -- he tore the MCL and ACL -- during the Vikings' 33-26 win over Washington on Dec. 24.

SUSPICIOUS BEN

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger thinks he was targeted by the San Francisco 49ers during a regular-season game last year.

Roethlisberger, who was playing with a high ankle sprain, threw three interceptions and fumbled twice during a Week 16 loss to the 49ers. He told The Dan Patrick Show Wednesday that the 49ers were a little more, uh, enthusiastic, than they might normally have been.

"I don't really complain about that stuff, either," he said. "But I think when we played San Fran, I felt like there were some things going on, some extra ... Now, obviously, I did have the ankle and I was playing, so there was kind of a bulls-eye on there anyway. But for the most part, guys play tough and you go into a game expecting it. I expect to be tougher than them."

But Roethlisberger added that he doesn't believe there was a bounty on his head.

"Sometimes you get guys -- things happen under piles and, you know, the little extra twisting of the ankles and poking, things like that," he said. "But this whole bounty thing -- I don't know if I'd sit there and say, 'Wow, that guy really tried to end my career.' Honestly, I don't know."

NO DEAL FOR COWBOY

The Dallas Cowboys tried -- and failed -- to trade cornerback Mike Jenkins at the NFL draft so now they're taking him off the block.

The Cowboys drafted cornerback Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall pick but owner Jerry Jones says there is still room for Jenkins on the roster. And Jenkins will play a "critical role" in the Cowboys' defence this season.

"Jenkins is not only this year, but a long-term player here as far as I'm concerned," Jones said Wednesday on the team's website. "(He is) a vital part of our plan ... a very critical role in what we want to be defensively."

Jenkins is a three-year starter for the Cowboys and made the Pro Bowl in 2009 but Dallas signed cornerbacks Orlando Scandrick and Brandon carr to big off-season deals and added Claiborne in the draft.

BELL CALLS IT QUITS

The recent suicide of ex-NFLer Junior Seau played a role in Cincinnati Bengals guard Jacob Bell's decision to retire a month after joining the team.

Seau's suicide, along with long-term health concerns, were the primary reasons Bell decided to pack it in at age 31, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Bell signed a one-year deal with the Bengals in April after four seasons with the St. Louis Rams.

"It's just crazy to see how someone like Junior Seau took his own life over -- God knows what he was really struggling and dealing with," Bell told the Post-Dispatch. "But you have to believe it came from the game of football. I want to get out before the game makes me get out, where I can get out on my own terms, and I can limit the amount of stress and negative impact that the game would leave on me."

The Bengals put Bell on the reserved/retired list Wednesday.

BECK THE TEX

The Houston Texans agreed to terms with former Washington Redskins quarterback John Beck Wednesday, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Beck became a post-draft casualty with the Redskins after they selected a pair of quarterbacks, including first-rounder Robert Griffin III, last month. The one-time starter was released by the Redskins just after the draft.

Beck will likely compete with undrafted rookie Case Keenum for the No. 3 job behind starter Matt Schaub and backup J.T Yates.

In four games with the 'Skins, Beck threw for 858 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with a quarterback rating of 72.1.

EX-GIANT DIES

Former New York Giants wide receiver Stacy Robinson died Tuesday of cancer.

The two-time Super Bowl winner caught 48 passes for 749 yards and seven touchdowns during his career with the Giants, from 1985 to '90. He was diagnosed in 2009 with multiple myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow).

"He was a class act who was always a real, real pleasure to be around," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said on NFL.com. "Stacy was just a great guy to coach. Great guy to be with, be around. He was always positive, always thinking in terms of how he could help benefit the rest of us, the team."


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