It’s official, folks. The Minnesota Vikings have activated superstar running back Adrian Peterson, effectively making the running back eligible to play against the Indianapolis Colts during Week 15.He has missed the past 11 games due to a torn meniscus in his knee, which required was damaged to the point of
He has missed the past 11 games due to a torn meniscus in his knee, which was damaged to the point of requiring surgery on a second-half carry against the Green Bay during the team’s 17-14 victory over the Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium back in Week 2.
Peterson, who ranks 16th on the NFL’s all-time rushing yards list, announced over the radio on Friday afternoon that he was planning to return to the field this Sunday. While the news foreshadowed the team’s announcement today, the manner in which it was briefed by DJ Skee and the fact he had not yet been officially activated left room for the possibility of the Hall of Fame-caliber running back not making his return to the field this weekend.
— DJ Skee (@djskee) December 16, 2016
Peterson’s decision to disclose the news himself prior to the Vikings reportedly aggravated the team as well.
Team's pissed too https://t.co/aN4wfJmMla
— Brian Murphy (@murphPPress) December 16, 2016
Nonetheless, Peterson has been activated officially activated, and there is a universal expectation the superstar running back will both start and play. His number of snaps and touches remain to be seen, however.
Official Press Release
It was announced earlier this week that Peterson had resumed practicing, immediately grabbing headlines around the league. The running back is not listed on the team’s official injury report, however, limiting what is known regarding his practice participation throughout the week.
Adrian Peterson has resumed running. Was working out on the side at the start of #Vikings practice. Still not practicing.
— VikingUpdate.com (@VikingUpdate) November 29, 2016
The Vikings, who have struggled to establish a consistent ground game in the wake of Peterson’s injury, currently rank dead last in the NFL in rushing yards (954), per-carry average (3.0) and per-game average (73.4). Minnesota also comes in at tied for 23rd in rushing touchdowns (8) and 29th in longest carry (29 yards) over the course of 323 attempts (tied 20th) spread between Sam Bradford, Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon, Ronnie Hillman, Zach Line, Cordarrelle Patterson, Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Charles Johnson, Jarius Wright, Laquon Treadwell, Kyle Rudolph, Rhett Ellison and MyCole Pruitt.
Additionally, Football Outsiders‘ efficiency-measuring statistic DVOA ranks Minnesota’s rushing offense 29th in the league. Only Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville rank below the Vikings’ abysmal rushing attack.
Minnesota currently ranks 31st in the NFL in total yards (3,939) — which, if the season ended today, would be the lowest ranking since the team was established as an expansion team in 1961 — primarily due to the worst rushing attack in franchise history. Peterson’s return, while filled with drama, is expected to provide some level of an improvement to a rushing attack that has been both situationally and universally dreadful from start-to-finish this season.
Peterson returns to the 53-man roster having recorded 31 attempts for 50 rushing yards (1.6 average) and zero touchdowns in two appearances this season.