Adrian Peterson “Locked In” To Return For Week 1?
The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is “locked in” on being active for Week 1 and envisions being at full strength after suffering a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee late in the 2011 season. He has made remarkable progress to this point if the reports are true, including teammate Percy Harvin saying Peterson beat him in a running race uphill last week.
If Peterson is ready for Week 1, he will be approximately eight and a half months removed from the injury, suffered on Christmas Eve 2011 against the Washington Redskins. He has always said his goal was to be ready for Week 1 of the 2012 season, though the team has expressed less optimism and suggested they will hold him back to ensure a full recovery. Given the significant financial investment the Vikings have made him by signing him to a seven-year, $96 million deal ($36 million guaranteed) in September of 2011, it is not surprising that they will hold Peterson back if the medical staff suggests they do so.
At this point, Peterson could be put on the Physically Unable To Perform (PUP) list to start training camp in order to keep the option open for him to be placed on the PUP list to start the season. That would make him ineligible for the first six weeks of the regular season, which is not the scenario Peterson is aiming for at this point. That said, Peterson has said he will do whatever the team wants him to do during his recovery and he will be forthright in terms of telling the team how he feels during his rehab.
All in all, I would not be surprised to see Peterson active for Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars but I would expect him to see his carries limited during the first few games of the season if he is deemed ready to go.