Reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson didn't touch the ball in two snaps of action for Minnesota, making his preseason debut — and first appearance in the exhibition schedule since 2011 — as he begins a year in which he will try to become the first player with consecutive 2,000-yard rushing seasons.
"It was definitely limited but I felt like it was kind of effective getting the play-action in," he said. "It is all about keeping your body in shape, doing the necessary things ... just making sure your body is ready to roll."
Ponder went 17 of 23 for 116 yards, a step up after two unimpressive outings and a 28.3 passer rating in his first two exhibition games.
This hardly looked like the Vikings' group that handed the NFC champion Niners their first loss last fall, a 24-13 victory Sept. 23 in Minneapolis.
On the third play of the game, Ponder fumbled and gave the 49ers the ball at the Vikings 11. Ahmad Brooks swiped the ball away and Aldon Smith recovered.
San Francisco then went ahead on a 30-yard field goal by Phil Dawson, who added a 50-yarder before halftime.
The 49ers saw a couple of new players for the first time in quarterback Seneca Wallace and wideout Jon Baldwin, not to mention a familiar face in backup running back Kendall Hunter. Returning from a torn Achilles tendon injury that ended his season in late November and required surgery, Hunter scampered 15 yards on his first carry since the injury.
That first-quarter run gave San Francisco first down during the 49ers' third series.
Kaepernick began the game 1 for 7, then converted his next six pass attempts during that touchdown drive — including four in a row of 10 or more yards. Vernon Davis caught back-to-back receptions of 10 and 11 yards, and Patton and Marlon Moore each had two receptions in the series.
Notes: Rookie fourth-round draft pick Patton (broken finger) played for the first time. ... 49ers QB Colt McCoy went 11 for 15 for 109 yards a day after restructuring his contract. Harbaugh all but announced McCoy as Kaepernick's backup, saying, "I feel real good that Colt's the backup." ... Vikings CB Chris Cook injured his groin in the first half and didn't return. DT Kevin Williams got his right knee tangled up with OL Joe Looney early in the third quarter — a play the Vikings were considering sending to the league for review. ... 49ers RB LaMichael James injured an elbow. OLB Cam Johnson sustained a third-quarter shoulder injury and didn't return.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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