The NFL rule barring rookies from taking part in offseason activities until the school year is out has cost Vikings running back Toby Gerhart most of his chance to get acclimated with the team before training camp.
He’ll start changing that this weekend. Gerhart took his last final exam at Stanford on Tuesday night and caught a flight to the Twin Cities where he will participate in some of this weekend’s minicamp before flying back to Palo Alto to take part in commencement exercises. Then it is back to Minnesota for the final week of the offseason program.
In an interview with the team’s website, Gerhart said he is working with running backs coach Eric Bieniemy to catch up as much as possible before hitting the field this weekend. He should have ample chances to show off what he’s learned while Adrian Peterson takes off from camp to be the guest of honor at Adrian Peterson Day in East Palestine, Texas.
It’s far too soon to know what Gerhart will bring to the table for the Vikings but they’ve got to be glad to finally get a chance to see what they selected with the 51st overall pick in April’s draft. Given Peterson’s hard-charging style and his difficulty holding onto the football, they surely hope Gerhart shows them enough that they can count on him to carry a heavy load if the need arises during the 2010 season.