At this point in the Vikings’ season there are two parties significantly affected by Adrian Peterson’s absence from a 2-8 team: Christian Ponder and his development, and fantasy teams everywhere.

Both the Vikings and those who play imaginary football games with real-life players can breathe a sigh of relief after Peterson was carted off the field yesterday during Minnesota’s loss to Oakland.

First, the bad news…

High ankle sprains can be notoriously fickle injuries, especially for running backs who need to juke and cut quickly to be effective. It’s an annoying injury that often lingers and nags, which is the worst kind in both fantasy and reality. But there’s reason for optimism.

Although Peterson will indeed be wearing a protective boot for several days and therefore he’ll likely miss Minnesota’s Week 12 game on the road against Atlanta, there’s a good chance that will be the only game he misses. He only has a Grade 1 sprain, according to Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, with Frazier adding that Peterson could start light activity by Friday at the earliest.

Peterson is durable and he’s demonstrated an ability to be a quick healer, missing only three games during his four-year career. Toby Gerhart, the second-year RB out of Stanford, will replace Peterson if he misses this week’s game as expected.

Gerhart has been used sparingly this year, averaging just 2.4 carries per game.