MINNEAPOLIS -- We know Toby Gerhart might not be at top speed on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles because of a hamstring injury, but based on his plans for Thursday night, we're guessing his thumbs are at full strength.
The Minnesota Vikings running back will be appearing at Best Buy in Richfield, Minn., on Thursday night to square off against gamers on the PlayStation 4 version of "Madden NFL 25" as part of the Ultimate Gamers Showdown. In addition to competing against Gerhart and pro gamer Justin Chow, contestants can enter a 64-team tournament for the chance to win a $1,000 Best Buy gift card and a trip to Texas for the final round -- an eight-team tournament on AT&T Stadium's mammoth scoreboard. The first 250 fans will also receive autographed Gerhart cards.
The event begins at 5 p.m. CT on Thursday, and entry to the tournament is on a first-come, first-served basis (in-store registration is available from noon-4:30). Playing Gerhart isn't necessarily part of the tournament, but the Vikings running back will be on hand from 6:30-8, and if "Madden" isn't your thing, Best Buy will have other games set up, like "FIFA 14" and "Need for Speed: Rivals."
The Vikings had a number of players facing off in "Madden" against fans at their Taste of the Vikings event last month -- Joe Webb, Everson Griffen and Jarius Wright among them -- and if we had to guess, we'd bet that playing Gerhart will mean a heavy dose of Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers' pistol offense; Gerhart played for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh in college, and read-option schemes are typically a fun (and effective) video game pick. Unless, of course, he opts to control his own team, playing as Adrian Peterson -- and himself.