Sunday, August 12, 2012

Adrian Peterson: Back and Better Than Ever?

Adrian Peterson is ready to throw his stint
on the PUP list into the rear-view mirror and is ready
to set his comeback into motion.
Today the Minnesota Vikings coaching staff decided to put the Adrian Peterson comeback in motion. Coach Frazier announced this morning that Peterson had been activated off the active/physically unable to perform list. He participated in his first walkthrough practice this morning and the afternoon practice, which were moved indoors to the Myers Fieldhouse at Minnesota State University Mankato due to rain. The practice was very abbreviated and Peterson merely received handoffs from Christian Ponder and the first team offense. This is monumental step as Peterson is only 7-1/2 months removed from a torn ACL and MCL. We shouldn't expect anything different from Peterson, who is a "superfreak" athlete and is superior in the athleticism category.

So when will Adrian Peterson be back on the field for the first time since the injury? Peterson cannot strap on full pads until Tuesday, based on the two day grace period in the new CBA, but Coach Frazier reiterated Peterson will not be taken to the ground until a game situation. Many players, coaches and fans question if Peterson is ready to fully participate in full team activities. There is no way Peterson would have been activated if the trainers didn't feel like he was fully ready to participate fully in practice. There isn't much more Peterson could do physically to prepare himself for contact practice, other than getting into contact drills.

Peterson was very pleased to be activated, as he smiled while he approached reporters for an interview after practice. When he was asked about what the past 7-1/2 months have been like for him, he responded, "It's been a true test. When they took me off (Sunday), I just kind of reflected back to the day after surgery and just the process to get to where I'm at now. It's been hard work, not only for me, but from the staff - Eric Sugarman and his staff and the staff down in Houston, Russ Paine, and just a lot of prayers, giving God his time and keeping my faith. That's really what has gotten me to this point. So, I'm just excited to be back with the guys and finally get rolling."

Peterson is anticipated to be ready for action when the third preseason game versus the San Diego Chargers arrives. Peterson remains focused on returning to the field on September 9th for the first game of the regular season versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. But Coach Frazier made no promises the Vikings will play Peterson in their third preseason game on Aug. 24 against San Diego at the Metrodome."This is a unique situation so there's no article of war that says we can't play our starters in the fourth game," Frazier said. "That's our decision so we'll see how things are going."

Adrian mentioned several times during his interview, that he was ready to prove doubters wrong and is ready to put the team on his shoulders. From a fan perspective, it is exciting to see Peterson back on the field for the first time, but I hope he is making the right decision to come back nearly a month and a half earlier than the normal recovery time. With the trainers and coaching staff being in touch with Peterson on a daily basis, I trust they are making a decision based on the best interest of Adrian's health. If Peterson, the coaching staff and the trainers collectively believe Adrian is ready to reach the next phase of recovery, then I think it was a great decision.

Only time will tell whether or not this was a mistake, but I feel with the athletic ability Peterson possesses, he will return to his full form for the beginning of the 2012 season.

We will keep you posted with the latest developments at practices this week in Mankato, leading up to the first preseason home game versus the Buffalo Bills on Friday night.

Thanks for reading!

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