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Carolina’s Luke Kuechly: Even without AP, Vikings have plenty of weapons

One of the NFL’s top linebackers said Tuesday the Carolina Panthers have plenty to worry about on Sunday – even if Adrian Peterson isn’t able to go for the Vikings.

But Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly wasn’t counting AP out just yet either.

“He’s a stud. I think he’s one of the best guys I’ve ever seen play at that spot,” Kuechly told reporters Monday. “He’s a physical back. The last time we played them, though, they didn’t have him and they beat us.”

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Peterson has a torn meniscus, Zimmer did not offer a timeline for Peterson’s return nor did he rule the seven-time Pro Bowler out for Sunday’s game at Carolina.

According to ESPN, it’s possible that Peterson could play Sunday, or even return soon if they believe the injury can be treated conservatively. If Peterson’s injury would require surgery he could miss anything from a few weeks up to a few months.

If Peterson doesn’t play though, the Panthers have been down this road before with the Vikings. It would be their second meeting in the last three seasons that AP didn’t play.

Still Kuechly said there is plenty about the Vikings they’ll need to be concerned about, including Stefon Diggs, who leads the NFL in receiving yards.

“He looked explosive, he looked fast, he looked like he was having a lot of fun,” said Kuechly. “That will be a guy that we make sure we know where he is.”

Kuechly also said that they can’t look past the guys, who could help to fill the void if Peterson is out. Minnesota would likely split reps between Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata.

Asiata ran for 52 yards on 14 carries in that 31-13 Vikings victory in 2014.

“Asiata is a pretty good. He’s physical,” Keuchly said. “He’s got good size, I remember him from last time. He’s a good player.”

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