Adrian Peterson underwent surgery to repair ACL and MCL tears less than eight months ago. Many players require close to a full year to recover from injuries of that magnitude, but Peterson is eyeing a Week 1 return to action. In order to make that goal a more realistic possibility, the Vikings are doing everything they can to make sure he stays healthy during practice. This has apparently led to some pretty intense rules.
“The rules are simple. Do not touch 28,” Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford said Tuesday, according to Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune. “If you touch him, you’re cut.”
If the other players literally can’t lay a finger on Peterson, it is probably pretty frustrating to have him practicing with the rest of the team. It would also indicate that he has not been cleared for contact, which would make it seem even more unlikely that a return in about three weeks is realistic.
Earlier this week, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice said that he believes Peterson is rushing back and could be putting himself at risk of further injury. Peterson dismissed Rice’s comments when asked about them on Tuesday.
“Yeah, I heard about his comments,” A.P. said. “But everyone is different and everyone is entitled to their opinion. It is what it is. It’s just another opinion. Great player. I respect him. But that’s just another opinion.”
Vikings fans, players and coaches are all hoping Rice is wrong. While they certainly need Peterson if they want to have a shot at putting together a decent season, a 100% healthy Adrian Peterson for less than 16 games is much better than a banged-up Peterson for an entire season.
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