With numerous NFL rumors swirling regarding possible roster cuts and trades taking place over the next few days, the Minnesota Vikings are only concerned with players who are guaranteed a spot to start the 2012 regular season, and whether or not they are healthy.
More specifically, they are most concerned about the health and availability of one Adrian Peterson.
After having surgery last December to repair a torn ACL and MCL after he suffered the injury in a game against the Washington Redskins, many people whether or not Peterson would be ready to play at all this season. But deep down, the man they call All Day never had any doubts.
But just because he says that he is ready to start the September 9 season opener for the Vikings as they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the rest of the team and coaching staff is on the same page as their star running back.
Yet at the same time, the Vikings not ruled out Peterson for the season opener in just over a week. As of yesterday, they have labeled him as a game time decision. That means that Minnesota will take a wait and see approach and decide about one hour prior to kickoff whether or not Peterson will suit up and play for the Vikings.
“We’ve got a lot of things we want to get done with him this week, and I doubt that we would know without getting him through an entire week if we thought he was ready to play in a football game,” head coach Leslie Frazier said after the team”s final preseason game. “We need to take him through some more things this week.”
But when it comes to Peterson, anything is possible.
He has progressed faster than almost any other player who suffered a similar injury. But while it is unlikely that a player can return to close to 100 percent the following season, it is not without precedent. Wes Welker tore his ACL in the regular season finale with the New England Patriots in 2009, but was back to start the regular season opener the following season without limitations, for the most part.
Peterson is a running back, meaning he will get hit more than a wide receiver, but he is also a freak of nature. If anyone can return from a devastating injury and return without missing much time, it will be Peterson.
That is why, despite the fact that Peterson has been given the dreaded game time decision tag as of now, I fully expect him to play when the Vikings take on the Jaguars next Sunday.
While Peterson may not receive a full workload for the first few games, or even receive the majority of the carries through September, I would bet dollars to donuts that Peterson will have a better chance to play – and score – than his Jaguars running back counterpart, Maurice Jones-Drew, who continues his lengthy holdout.
Write it down. Right now.
As in All Day.