Thursday, November 13, 2008
Black and Blue all over: Peterson on helmet
By Kevin Seifert
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
This will be the last time we mention Helmetgate. Really. We promise.
Minnesota tailback Adrian Peterson addressed the issue Wednesday during a conference call with Tampa Bay-area reporters, saying he was caught up in the emotion of Sunday's 28-27 victory over Green Bay when he removed his helmet on the field. NFL vice president Mike Pereira has said that Peterson should have been penalized for the act.
It's only fair to give Peterson an opportunity to explain himself. Here's how he put it:
"I was just really caught up in the moment. Especially after having the fumble and then coming back out with the mentality I had on the last drive. For me, it was more emotional because I had just fumbled to put us in a bad situation that could've cost us the game, and then in the last drive when we needed it, turned it around and got into the end zone. I was sitting on the sidelines and just really having faith, telling myself and telling the guys, 'Hey, we're going to win, we're going to pull it out.' Needing a career drive, having the faith it was really going to happen. I was just caught up in the moment. I wasn't trying to celebrate."
Again, Peterson's intent shouldn't have anything to do with whether officials flag him. By rule, he should have been penalized.
Continuing around the NFC North:
- Rick Alonzo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press profiles cornerback Benny Sapp, who figures to take over the nickel position following the season-ending ankle injury to Charles Gordon. Sapp is known for his aggressive attempts to make big plays.
- Green Bay linebacker A.J. Hawk on sliding to the "Mike" position to replace the injured Nick Barnett: "When it comes down to it, it's all just still football." Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel breaks down the transition.
- Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on all the practice time he's missed this season: "If you're not working on the fundamentals every day, there's potential for those to drop off a little bit. I'm going to continue to work hard and as I get to do more in practice, I don't expect that to be an issue at all." Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette addresses the issue.
- David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune can't decide what will play a more significant role Sunday: The tension in the Bears' locker room or some chippy attitudes displayed by the Packers during Wednesday conference calls.
- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times takes a look at the quiet season of middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, who has had five tackles or fewer in four of the past five games.
- Detroit waived quarterback Drew Henson on Wednesday to make room for receiver Adam Jennings, whom they claimed on waivers, according to John Niyo of the Detroit News. For now, that means quarterback Dan Orlovsky will remain on the active roster despite a significant hand injury.