Eden Prairie, Minn. — Adrian Peterson left U.S. Bank Stadium on crutches with a torn meniscus.
Sam Bradford was seen shaking his left hand in pain for much of the game.
The Vikings took their lumps in a 17-14 victory Sunday night, and much of it had to do with a leaky offensive line that had a hard time protecting their top playmakers.
Peterson had 19 yards on 12 carries and found little room to run against the Packers defense before exiting in the third quarter with an injured right knee.
Bradford, meanwhile, played well in his Vikings debut, but was sacked four times and was hit many more by an aggressive, blitzing Packers defense. The quarterback was left with a swollen and discolored non-throwing hand that required X-rays after the game.
“He took hits he shouldn’t have taken,” left guard Alex Boone said. “He delivered the ball well. Just an overall great performance by him.”
Playing just two weeks after being acquired from Philadelphia in an emergency trade following the season-ending knee injury to Teddy Bridgewater, Bradford was 22-for-31 for 286 yards and two touchdowns. He outplayed Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and inspired teammates by hanging in against the constant pressure, taking hits time and again and still throwing bullets to his receivers, including emerging star Stefon Diggs.
“He’s as talented as they come and we’ve got to protect him a little bit better and not see him on the ground so often,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said. “But we’ll get there.”
It’s early, and the new group could benefit from more games together to gain cohesion. But the results have been troubling through the first two weeks.
Peterson, who led the NFL in rushing last season, has 50 yards on 31 carries through the first two games. He has gained 2 yards or fewer on 20 of those 31 carries.
“We didn’t play very good up front last night,” Zimmer said Monday. “We didn’t pass protect very well. We didn’t do a very good job in the run block.”
Zimmer wasn’t ready to rule out Peterson on Sunday against the Panthers (1-1), but recovery times for even minor meniscus tears usually take at least a couple of weeks.
Josh McCown will miss at least one game with a “deep sprain” in his left shoulder, forcing the Browns to play rookie Cody Kessler this week — the team’s third starting quarterback in three games this season.
McCown was filling in for Robert Griffin III, who broke a bone in his left shoulder in the opener and will miss at least eight games — and maybe more.
Browns coach Hue Jackson said McCown will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.
... An MRI confirmed the Chargers have lost running back Danny Woodhead for the season to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
... While Panthers coach Ron Rivera is awaiting the results of an MRI on running back Jonathan Stewart’s right hamstring, Fozzy Whittaker is set to start for Carolina.
“If it’s a hamstring it’s going to be a week or two,” Rivera said.
... Falcons receiver Julio Jones had an MRI on his right calf but is expected to be ready for next Monday’s road game against the Saints.
... Washington nose tackle Kedric Golston is headed to injured reserve with an injured right hamstring.
... Titans right guard Chance Warmack has a torn tendon in a finger on his right hand. He could miss anywhere from a couple of weeks to more than a month if he has surgery.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll has been fined $200,000, the Seahawks have been fined $400,000 and will lose a fifth-round draft choice for violating work rules on contact in the offseason.
... Bills owner Terry Pegula says Rex Ryan has full authority in overseeing the team and fully supports the coach’s decision to fire offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
... Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and several teammates raised their right fists during the national anthem in a protest before their game against the Bears.