2014 Minnesota Vikings: Per Reports, Adrian Peterson Not Likely to Play This Year

According to Chris Mortesen, Adrian Peterson is unlikely to play this year. In September, Mort reported that the NFL was going to be harsh with Peterson (correct) and that the team was done with Peterson (contested, but not proven to be correct or incorrect yet). We don’t know if they are, but if these are the same team sources, then Mort isn’t providing new information, and will have to be balanced against the other reports from Jason Cole and Mike Florio that the team is still optimistic about Adrian Peterson (unless they’re concerned about his playing health, per Jason La Confora). Aren’t sources great? Anyway, tweets below:

Two things: first I’m not surprised Adrian wouldn’t play in a scenario where he wins his appeal. There’s little point to playing a running back who hasn’t gone through conditioning, even if it’s Adrian Peterson, in a lost season where the Vikings are clearly all-in on evaluating their talent. Further, if the Vikings are concerned with his trade value, the small risk of injury would tank their plans (exacerbated by missing workout time, perhaps).

Beyond that, with little additional reward and some risk, the Vikings would further be risking public relations blowback by playing him sooner rather than later. By next year, the public relations impact will likely die down. Combined with the possibility of the legal team working against Peterson’s reinstatement, and there’s a good reason to believe the team isn’t invested in a 2014 return.

The second thing is that it would be classically Vikings for Adrian Peterson’s appeal to delay a suspension if he’s unsuccessful. That’s not surprising—he’s not suspended right now, merely on the Exempt list (still, somehow). It’s ridiculous and Peterson should get credit for these three games he’s missed, because he’s missing games now for a new reason entirely, not because of the initial violation of the conduct policy—procedural clarity shouldn’t come with this kind of cost.

For what it’s worth, Peter King thinks Peterson will win his appeal, and it will be up to the team to activate him:

With Peterson likely (but not certain) to be reinstated by a league appeals officer, Harold Henderson, next week, the ball would be in Minnesota’s court as to whether to activate him for the final three games of the year. We’ll hear lots about it this weekend, including whether the Vikings’ coaching side is on the same page with the Vikings’ front-office.

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  1. If he wins the appeal….put him on the roster immediately.
    I think the Vikings are all-in on winning the remaining games. I believe the players are, and I know Zimmer is.

  2. Arif, what public relations backlash. The only people that don’t want AD to play are pitch fork nation and guys like Chris Hawkey, that wear girly panties. It is time to FREE AD. Everybody makes mistakes.
    FREE AD, and PLAY AD.