Biggs: Peterson must work on fumbling issue all day

Minnesota, we have a problem.

Now it’s time to figure out of the Vikings and running back Adrian Peterson can find a solution. Otherwise, the wildly talented running back is in danger of losing a grip on his career.

It wasn’t the lone cause for the Vikings’ loss Sunday in the NFC Championship Game, but it didn’t help that Peterson fumbled twice and took the blame for a botched handoff in the 31-28 overtime defeat, according to Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Fumbles were a serious problem for him this past season. He lost one in an overtime loss at Chicago. It was the third time this season that Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer stripped him. The league’s leading rusher over the last three seasons also has 20 fumbles in that span and 13 of them have been turnovers.

"I know that he is sick about those fumbles," coach Brad Childress said Tuesday. "They reared their ugly head. I don't have my head in the sand saying there's not an issue. He needs to hold on to it, but I'm sure he and (running backs coach Eric Bieniemy) and our offensive staff will do a good job of kind of troubleshooting that and seeing what we can come up with."

It’s easy to say Petrerson can work on holding the ball high and tight and that he needs to be more conscious of defenders when they close in on him. He’s got to practice that in a game, though. The problem isn’t just going to go away because the Vikings tell Peterson he’s got to protect the ball. He’s a marked man. Defenders know he’ll give the ball up, and they’re punching at it every single play. It’s a cop out to blame an aggressive running style too. Did Earl Campbell have trouble fumbling? Jerome Bettis?

"I think that's probably an offseason study type of thing as well," he said. "Everybody's a little different (with) kind of the way their forearms are created -- short forearms, long forearms. You can say, 'Well, everybody can hold it high and tight.' Sometimes that's true, sometimes that's not true. We talk about points of contact with the body, what should be on the ball, where should the body and ball be in relation, but there are also styles, too."

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