Peterson Activated; Should He Play In Preseason?

As you have probably heard by now, Adrian Peterson was activated from the PUP list and participated in practice on Sunday. What’s that? You heard it, but didn’t believe it because there is no way someone could come back that quickly from such a devastating injury? You need to see it to believe it?

Well, there you go. That, ladies and gentleman, is Adrian Peterson, the guy who pretty much had his knee destroyed last December, participating in Vikings practice.

Now there is even talk about Peterson being able to get some snaps in when the Vikings host the Chargers at Mall of America Field for the third preseason game.

In a press conference, Leslie Frazier attempted to temper the excitement of fans saying, “I want to caution you, I know there are a lot of fans that are very optimistic and excited about seeing him back but for us it’s just a part of the process.” Nevertheless, there seems to be something real in the air that suggests Minnesota’s pride and joy, AP, could be back for game one against Jacksonville.

And I have to be honest with you – I’m torn about it.

First, let’s start with the preseason thing. Should Peterson even get close to seeing playing time during a pointless exhibition game? On one hand, if AP really is going to be starting for the Vikings early in the season, it might be good for him to get hit a couple of times and build up his confidence. It’s been seven and a half months since Peterson has had any real contact. Who knows how him and his injury will respond. On the other hand (and this is a Shaquille O’Neal sized hand), if Adrian Peterson somehow re-injured his knee during a preseason game, there would be a riot amongst Vikings fans.

Beyond preseason, there is a legitimate question of whether or not Peterson should even play in the first few games. We have a very capable backup in Toby Gerhart who has shown he can do perfectly fine carrying the teams’ rushing load on his [steamrolling] shoulders. Our schedule is favorable the first couple of games and having the best running back in the NFL may not be as imperative for those primary match-ups.

One reader on our site even went further; asking the question of whether or not AP should be the starting running back at all this season. Instead, Gerhart could be the workhouse running back on most downs while Peterson occasionally surprises defenders on third downs with his “explosiveness.” Now, obviously, this is not going to happen… But it is a fair question.

There are lots of questions regarding how Adrian Peterson makes his inevitable return to the field. There are even more opinions. So this is where I ask you all, what is the best way to ease AP back into action? Should he play in the preseason? How much of a role should he have? Is the coaching staff responsible if Peterson does come back early in the year only to injure is knee again?

Vote in the poll below regarding preseason playing time and discuss in the comments. Interested to see what some of you guys think.

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Brett Anderson

Brett Anderson (Founder) is a passionate Viking fan hailing from Sin City, Las Vegas. He can remember, as a child, scraping his knee on the playground and his friends being completely shocked by the purple blood trickling from the wound. When Brett isn't scouring the Internet for some semblance of Vikings news, he enjoys blindly putting money on them to beat whoever their opponent may be, and daydreams about being their next Tight End. Brett graduated from UNLV with a degree in Architecture and specializes in web/graphic design; he hopes to provide this site’s visitors with the best Vikings experience on the net.

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  1. One thing that does make me nervous are the pictures that show a difference in the muscle between the two legs. That makes me think he’ll be stressing one knee more than the other which is a big cause of second injuries.

  2. I believe it was a real NFL regular season game when AP was injured. You one of those that think he shoulda set out that game?

    I voted no, as these games do not count.

  3. He should definantely play. IF he has any plans on playing week 1 why would we wait and test it in a live game situation? Week three take 5 or so carries. If he gets hurt then he would have gotten hurt in week 1 anyways, and he needs to see live action before the season. Just look at holdout players who get hurt because they didnt participate in training camp

  4. And also I dont feel this were not a playoff team anyways vibe ive been recieving from other websites. Ive seen to many cinderalla seasons to be without hope for this season. The niners were a 6-10 team in the worst division in football just 1 season ago. The colts were horrible Mannings first season. We can compete, this is the NFL

    1. That’s a good point about Peterson. And I like the optimism. Looks like most people agree that Peterson should play in the preseason by (by a very narrow margin though).

  5. He shouldn’t have been playing in the game last December when he was hurt, let alone the FIRST preseason game of the year.
    The injury that AD sustained (In that worthless, non-meaning game he was playing in. . .) normally takes from 1-2 years to recover from.
    Why in the HELL would we want to see him in this game and risk further injury that the smart money says he can’t be NEAR recovered frrom??
    Lets get a good look at what we have in Derrick Coleman backing up Gephart and forget this lunacy of having him play in the first Presseason game of the year.

    1. Well, technically the earliest game he MAY play in is the third preseason game against the Chargers.

      1. Oops, my bad.
        Still, I wouldn’t start him until the 6th regular season game, at the earliest.

  6. ??? The first preseason game was last friday, were talking about week 1 on the NFL Season. And Welker can back with a worse tear in less time and was effective. He might only be 95% for the year, but hes still 95% peterson, which is still the number 1 back in the league. What do people want him to do, wait till hes 30 to play again? He wants to play if the doctors Ok it, why would you want him to do anything other than play?

    1. My personal opinion on the issue is that Peterson should return only when the team and it’s medical staff have found him to be 100% healthy (or darn close). If that is Week 1, so be it. If that’s not at all this year… that is fine as well.

      1. Yep, I missed the fact that we’ve already had the first preseason game 🙂
        But I’m still absolutely certain it would be pure lunacy to use him in the preseason.

      1. You don’t buy the whole “it will help him build confidence that he can take hits”, etc…

        1. I can’t fathom the day when AD would need to build his confidence to “Take Hits”
          Building confidence in DB’s to absorb AD’s hits is more likely.

          1. Not so much confidence in himself… Confidence in his knee is what I would think. Not saying I agree with it, though. Still torn.

            1. I just can’t get over the risk of injury. AD is well past the average (3 years) life expectancy for a RB. I’d like to see him get another season or two in his prime with 2 good sticks and not risk ever seeing him play at his highest level again.

  7. I think its pure lunacy for the first test to his knee is in the middle of a game that counts. I agree with Brett though im only ok with him playing if the doctors ok it, but if they do he needs to at least take a few snaps

  8. I think AD would play with a gaping, sucking chest wound.
    He needs to be patient and get completely, 100% healthy before taking the field again.

      1. Man, me too. I just looked at the results from the survey and saw that 20 people voted YES on him returning for the preseason! Are you kidding me??!!
        Of course there were also 24 smarter folks who said no. . .
        Seriously tho, I can’t help but think that the mentality that would put AD on the field in PRESEASON, have to be thinking about wins (AND THEIR JOBS) rather than AD’s best interest.

  9. I’m on the other side of this fence, fellas. I’ve never been one to sit players to avoid injury except in a rout. This guy has earned playing time, and some preseason work is not out of line. There’s gonna be a first game sometime.

    1. Me too. Sitting someone to avoid injury fly’s in the face of football. On the other hand coach, tell the truth, wouldn’t you, in hindsight, wish we would have sat him in that meaningless game last December that cost us SO much?
      We’re not talking about sitting someone down to avoid an injury here. We’re talking about playing our franchise player in a meaningless preseason game, coming off an injury that should dictate he takes at least one full year to recover from, 4 months early!

      1. I was the one on here screaming for the Vikes to sit AD last year for the last few games. And everybody said I was crazy. I said he is going to get hurt. Nobody listened. AD is a different runner, he is not a Toby Gerhart. AD is going to get hurt before Toby will.

        1. I never said you were crazy WTF. I was right there with you.
          It was the smart move (Easy to say in hindsight but we both said it prior to that worthless, meaningless game last year

      2. I was never in favor of keeping him or anyone out of that Redskin game, Fran. I just don’t like that approach. Yes, a meaningless game may be the perfect situation to let him take a few reps. As I said, IF they declare him ready, he gets some plays.

  10. I hadn’t voted yet Fran. Make it 21 of us. There truly is no right or wrong to this thing, and I think lunacy is a significant overstatement. Some very smart people will make a heavily calculated and educated decision.

    1. Yes, there is a right or wrong to this thing. Right is sitting him, playing is lunacy.
      That’s my take anyway. IT’S PRESEASON!.
      Geez Coach! After so many posts from you over the years with so much insight and right-on views, I’m thunderstruck.
      Ok, I’ve added you to the list of “21” (Reluctantly)

      Playing AD last December and now, playing him in the preseason smacks of selling tickets and saving jobs to me!

      1. I respect your opinion on this, Fran, and simply ask the same in return. Bodies vary greatly in their ability to heal (Jim Marshall, Brett Favre) and injuries are mental as well as physical. They have calculated ways of determining a return from an injury, and I don’t think we have the necessary info to make this call. That’s why my position is “he plays when he’s deemed ready.” Lets remember that he could also get hurt in practice (Childs).

        I do feel very strongly that its wrong to think Frazier doesn’t seem have AP’s best interests at heart here. That’s not consistent with who Leslie Frazier is.

        1. Well said Coach.
          We’ll know soon enough whether or not this was a good decision to bring him back so soon.

    2. Agree with Coach about the Redskin game, that game still meant something…
      Agree with Fran, AP is not ready! Won’t be ready in 2 or 3 weeks, might not be ready for the opener. If they say he is ready? Hmm…I still sit him. Lets be careful here, if you are going to err, err on the side of caution with this one.
      That’s an old Bud Grant quote, eh Coach?

      1. I don’t want to beat this to death CC, but what did that Redskin game mean? Finishing 3-13 or 4-12?
        The game turned meaning something only after we won (And lost what turned out to be an extremely valueable draft pick and AD probably suffering a career-ending injury.)
        Yep, I just said career-ending and I realy think it will be if we try to get him back on the field too soon.

        Ok, I’m done for the night, got to go and cook tacos. . .

        1. Sorry Fran, but I like our first pick this year. We may have a very important position solved for the next decade. Personally…I’m glad that worked out like it did. Even if I’m in the minority on that, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.