It remains to be seen whether Adrian Peterson will be on the field when the Minnesota Vikings open their season against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 9.
Coach Leslie Frazier said Thursday night that the status of the All-Pro running back will be a game-time decision.
“We’ve got a lot of things we want to get done with him this week, and I doubt that we would know without getting him through an entire week, if we thought he was ready to play a game,” Frazier said after the Vikings fell to the Houston Texans, 28-24, in their preseason finale.
Peterson has sat out the entire preseason as he continues to mend from off-season surgery to fix tears in both his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.
But the four-time Pro Bowler insisted his eyes remain on taking the field next week.
“My goals are still the game,” he said last week. “I look forward to being back the first week” of the regular season.
Frazier has previously said the running back’s rehab has been ahead of schedule.
“Even the things he’s doing in practice, there’s nothing that makes you feel like you have to pull back just from watching him move around,” Frazier said last week. “But the more things we can give to him in the time we have leading up to the season opener, the better.”
Peterson suffered a devastating knee injury against Washington on Dec. 24, requiring corrective surgery to completely replace his shredded anterior cruciate ligament and repair his medial collateral one. Many questioned whether the running back would ever play football again, let alone return by the start of the 2012 season.
Peterson had vowed from the outset of his recovery to be back in time for the 2012 season opener.
He averaged better than 1,400 yards rushing per year over his first four NFL seasons and owns the league mark for the most yards in a single game (296). Injuries limited him to just 12 games in 2011, marking the only time in Peterson’s career that he’s failed to record a 1,000-yard season.