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Vikings running back Peterson says settled QB situation is important

Coach Mike Zimmer called it a competition, saying veteran Matt Cassel enters camp as the “No. 1 quarterback” before quickly adding that things could change before the team lines up at St. Louis for the regular-season opener. Rookie first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater is Cassel’s primary competition, while failed former first-rounder Christian Ponder hasn’t been ruled out.

“I feel like (deciding on a starter soon) is going to be very important for us,” Peterson said. “Like I said, I feel like the coaching staff and the guys up top will evaluate and do what’s best for us.

“It feels good to know you have a couple guys to lean on, as well. It’s not a secret. The quarterback position really hasn’t played well, but that’s why you bring guys in, you improve as an individual and you try to take steps forward. From what I’ve been able to see from Christian and Matt, those guys have done that and that’s the approach that they’re taking. That’s all you can really ask.”

At 29 years old, Peterson most likely doesn’t have much more time to wait on a quality quarterback. Despite a Hall of Fame-caliber start to his career, the Vikings have won only one playoff game during Peterson’s career. That came in 2009 with Brett Favre at quarterback.

–Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn began training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list because of a hamstring injury. Zimmer said the injury isn’t serious, but the Vikings must be careful not to push him back too fast. The depth at corner is unproven behind Munnerlyn and Xavier Rhodes.

–Strong safety Andrew Sendejo also began camp on the PUP list because of lower back and ankle issues that go back to the end of last season. Sendejo once was considered strictly a special teamer, but he turned a lot of heads last year when he stepped in for injured starting free safety Harrison Smith. If his health cooperates, Sendejo should compete for the starting safety job next to Smith.

–Tight end Chase Ford is on PUP list and could end up on injured reserve following surgery earlier this month for a stress fracture in his left foot. Ford was one of the candidates for the second pass-catching tight end position behind starter Kyle Rudolph.

–Nose tackle Linval Joseph, who missed most of the offseason team work because of shoulder surgery, reported to camp in excellent shape. Zimmer was impressed and said he expects “great things” from Joseph at a position that Zimmer calls a “vital” part of his defensive schemes.

–Left tackle Matt Kalil, who also missed a lot of the offseason team work because of knee surgery, was cleared recently. He said his knee is “super strong.” Kalil will need his health if he’s to put his sophomore slide behind him. After a Pro Bowl rookie season in 2012, Kalil was far too inconsistent a year ago.

–Wide receivers Andy Cruse and Ty Walker, first-year players, were signed Friday to provide camp depth at receiver. WR Josh Cooper, a third-year pro, and undrafted rookie OT Matt Hall were released.

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