The Minnesota Vikings activated running back Adrian Peterson from the physically unable to perform list, only 7½ months after undergoing surgery to repair torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee.
“He’s done everything he can do on the side, and now it’s the next step in the process,” a cautiously optimistic coach Leslie Frazier told the media. “It doesn’t mean in the future he’s going to be lining up with our team in the opening game [against Jacksonville on Sept.9]. We don’t know that.”
Don’t tell Peterson that.
The All-Pro running back promised fans that he would be ready and healthy the first Sunday of the NFL season after the devastating knee injury he suffered at Washington on Christmas eve, and couldn’t hold back his excitement to be back on the practice field.
“I was like a kid in a candy store when I came out here and they threw me in with the first group,” Peterson said. “I was smiling. I had to try to calm myself down. I was going a little too fast for a walk-through in the beginning. For me, this is so satisfying. I had a lot of people doubting me and saying this and saying that. But I kept my faith and kept working hard. Now, I’m back.”
To call Peterson’s comeback miraculous would be an understatement, as initially Peterson was told that he would need nine months to complete his rehab. Practice, however, is one thing; the game is another.
Still, after photos surfaced of Peterson beating teammate Percy Harvin in up-hill wind sprints just five months after surgery, optimism among fans – and him – skyrocketed that he would be ready for Week One.
Peterson said his faith and work ethic were paramount in his speedy recovery.
“Some in the family weren’t necessarily saying they’re doubting [me], but they’re not speaking the same words I’m speaking,” Peterson said. “My vision, they’re not seeing the same things. I know they love me and everything, but I’m in disagreement with them. . . I’m back.”