Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Minnesota Vikings: Matt Asiata could see field time during season opener

By Bruce Brothers
Posted: 09/03/2012 12:01:00 AM CDT

Matt Asiata had no guarantee a week ago he would even be a member of the Minnesota Vikings during the first week of the regular season.

Now the 234-pound Asiata is not only a member of the Vikings' 53-man squad, he might get to carry the ball a few times when the Vikings open the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Metrodome.

It all depends, of course, on the availability of running back Adrian Peterson, who is returning from offseason knee surgery.

Peterson will be a game-time decision, coach Leslie Frazier said, but Frazier said the Vikings' offense will look the same whether Peterson or Toby Gerhart starts at running back.

And Asiata, 25, will be ready to jump in.

"That's one of the reasons why we kept him on the roster," Frazier said. "We feel like if he had to play, he can step in and do a good job."

Asiata spent limited time on the Vikings' practice squad last season, but came to training camp this summer showing better confidence, Frazier said, "and then when he got in the ballgames, he showed why he deserved that third running back spot."

As a fringe player, Asiata hit all his answers down the middle after practice on Monday, Sept. 3, talking about earning the trust of his teammates and showing that he will play hard.

He earned a roster spot, he said, because he tried to have fun with his job.

"I just had to be myself and come out and just show the team what I can do on the field," he added.


smiled at the prospect of carrying the ball against the Jaguars.

"We'll see how that goes," he said. "We'll just take it week to week. I'm ready to go if they call my number."

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