Adrian Peterson has progressed nicely from ripping his knee last season, and “is ready to get hit,” he said. He has targeted the regular-season opener as the start of his comeback. But he has to practice first. He’s worth too much to the Minnesota Vikings to put him on the field and risk further injury.
Participating in practice could come next week. The coaching and medical staffs will evaluate Peterson’s left knee after the Vikings return from San Francisco, the site of their first preseason game Friday night.
”I’m looking forward to being out here pretty soon. I’ve been out for like two weeks, and it’s time to get going,” said Peterson, who tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments last December. ”I know that they understand that, and they’ve been watching and they’ve been getting good feedback. So I’m sure they are pretty much as excited as I am.”
Coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson’s pushing to join the team for practice has been ”never ending,” but Peterson said Wednesday he’s let up on his lobbying.
”Everything I’m hearing is extremely positive so we’ll see where we are,” Frazier said.
The date that matters most is Sept. 9, when the Vikings open the season against Jacksonville. Frazier said again there’s no indication Peterson won’t be able to take part in that game.
”Everything he’s done he’s right on point, but I say that without him ever participating in a drill with his teammates,” Frazier said, declining to commit to a certain number of practices Peterson will need before he’s allowed to play in the preseason.
”I’m ready to get hit. It might sound strange, but just to get that feel,” Peterson said, pointing to his patellar tendon area in particular. That still ”feels funny” as part of the recovery from the injury.
So whenever he returns to the backfield, he’ll continue to apply his ”don’t waste today” mindset toward the rehabilitation work,.
”Anytime they give me the ball, I’ll be ready to tote the load,” Peterson said.