Peterson Claims Bucs Linebacker (June?) Is Dirty

December 13th, 2008

Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson claims a Bucs linebacker tried to take me out.

Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson claims a Bucs linebacker "tried to take me out."

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson must still be smarting over the beat down his Vikings took when they lost to the Bucs earlier this season.

Speaking with Arizona reporters via a teleconference call, Peterson called out a Bucs linebacker claiming the unnamed linebacker was trying to take out his legs while others held him up, reports Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.

“I was being stood up by three or four defenders, and the guy just came out of nowhere and intentionally went for my leg,” Peterson said. “I felt it, and I watched it over and over again.

“He intentionally went for my leg, and tried to take me out,” Peterson said. “It was by the grace of God that my foot wasn’t stuck in the grass and was able to give. I looked at that play and really started thinking that, ‘Hey, whether you believe it or not, guys are out there trying to take you out. So you got to be smarter and protect yourself.’ ”

Peterson would only state the player in question wore a number in the 50s. All but one Bucs player wearing a number in the 50s is a linebacker. The lone player who has a number in the 50s who is not a linebacker is center Jeff Faine.

Joe thinks it’s pretty safe to assume Faine was not the culprit.

UPDATE: Stephen F. Holder of the St. Petersburg Times suggests Cato June is the Bucs linebacker who Peterson is claiming tried to take out his legs.

Tape of the Bucs’ Nov. 16 game against the Vikings show LB Cato June is apparently the player accused by RB Adrian Peterson of attempting to hurt him with a late hit to the knees. June couldn’t be reached for comment.

UPDATE II: Jensen also writes that it was June and claims the specific play happened in the third quarter.

He said the incident occurred in the third quarter of the Vikings’ 19-13 loss at Tampa, just before a failed Vikings fourth-down attempt. A tape of Peterson’s third-down run shows multiple defenders forcing him back after a 1-yard gain.

Defensive tackle Chris Hovan is on Peterson’s back.

Defensive end Greg White is on the ground, holding Peterson’s left leg.

Cornerback Ronde Barber is also on Peterson, toward his right side.

That’s when June — who had been blocked on the right edge by tight end Jim Kleinsasser — runs toward the pile and dives at Peterson’s right knee. A moment later, the ball pops loose.

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