Peterson's back, but not back

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 13, 2012 - 6:11 AM

His first practice reps since December elicited giddiness, all as his coach tried to temper the buzz, calling it just "the next step."

MANKATO - Vikings coach Leslie Frazier announced star running back Adrian Peterson's return to active duty with a smile and strong words of caution that couldn't have been more clear had they come with yellow flags and a giant banner screaming "Mission NOT Accomplished!"

"I want to caution you," Frazier said after Peterson was taken off the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list on Sunday morning. "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. It doesn't mean a whole lot other than he's done a great job in his rehab up to this point.

"He's done everything he can do on the side, and now it's the next step in the process. It doesn't mean in the future he's going to be lining up with our team in the opening game [against Jacksonville on Sept. 9]. We don't know that."

Now, whether fans and media choose to listen is, well, another matter. After all, the sight of the Vikings' four-time All-Pro taking a handoff from Christian Ponder during Sunday morning's walk-through was the most vivid indication that Peterson just might succeed in his quest to redefine the timetable for NFL players returning from the kind of devastating knee injury he suffered at Washington on Christmas eve.

See. There we go. Looking too far ahead while wondering how a man made of flesh and bone -- and a lot of muscle -- has come this far in 7 1/2 months since his Dec. 30 surgery to repair torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee.

That's OK. Someone else also was stirred by a routine walk-through.

"I was like a kid in a candy store today when I came out here and they threw me in with the first group," Peterson said. "I was smiling. I had to try to calm myself down. I was going a little too fast for a walk-through in the beginning. For me, this is so satisfying. I had a lot of people doubting me and saying this and saying that. But I kept my faith and kept working hard. Now, I'm back in the mix."

Per rules of the collective bargaining agreement, Peterson can't put full pads on until he's been through two practices. So he'll be limited to walk-throughs and individual drills until putting the pads on Tuesday. He also won't be tackled to the ground when the Vikings run their short-yardage and goal-line drills.

Peterson almost certainly won't play in Friday's second preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at Mall of America Field. A more likely target is the third preseason game against the San Diego Chargers a week from Friday at Mall of America Field. The fourth preseason game at Houston is unlikely; teams typically rest most, if not all, of their starters in that game.

Peterson initially was told that his rehab would take nine months. But Frazier doesn't seem surprised that Peterson will be in pads before the second week of the preseason.

"Maybe if it were somebody else," Frazier said. "But with Adrian, he's unique and he's always been that way in the time I've known him in his career. He's special in so many ways."

But, again, Frazier tried to temper the perception that Peterson is all the way back. Going from pads to being game-ready and taking a hit is "a huge step," Frazier said.

"When you are in situations that aren't choreographed, to have to react will be a big step when that time comes," Frazier said. "Where guys can hit you anywhere, they can hit you low, they can hit you high. That's a big hurdle. Not just from a physical standpoint but from a mental one as well."

If you're one of those who may have doubted Peterson, he said you're not alone. He said he "sensed it" in some fans, media and, heck, even some of his family members.

"Some in the family weren't necessarily saying they're doubting [me], but they're not speaking the same words I'm speaking," Peterson said. "My vision, they're not seeing the same things. I know they love me and everything, but I'm in disagreement with them.

"It doesn't matter because I had my mind set on what I wanted to conquer. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. It was going to take work. I had my faith in the right place, my will in the right place. I'm back."

  • related content

  • Vikings notes: Guion could return soon

    Sunday August 12, 2012

    Letroy Guion's transition to nose tackle shouldn't be delayed by more than a week, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Sunday morning as the team returned to practice following Friday night's...

  • Video: Frazier on first preseason game

    Tuesday August 14, 2012

    Vikings coach Leslie Frazier reflects on the team's 17-6 loss against San Francisco in the first preseason game of...

  • Vikings day at camp: Sunday

    Sunday August 12, 2012

    The Vikings had just reached the outdoor practice fields in full pads when they were called back inside because of a rain that wasn't going away any time soon.

  • Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) spoke with the med...

  • VIKINGS TRAINING CAMP

    Preseason Game 2: 7 p.m. Friday vs. Buffalo • Mall of America Field • TV: Ch. 11 (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto 2 Top 6th Inning
Baltimore 5
Washington 2 Top 7th Inning
Atlanta 0
Miami 3 Bottom 7th Inning
NY Mets 2
NY Yankees 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Chicago WSox 3 Bottom 3rd Inning
Kansas City 0
Cleveland 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Houston 0
Detroit 3 Top 4th Inning
Minnesota 0
Los Angeles 2 Top 2nd Inning
Colorado 1
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong 8:40 PM
Arizona - W. Miley
Seattle - H. Iwakuma 9:05 PM
LA Angels - M. Shoemaker
Philadelphia - J. Williams 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Philadelphia 3 1st Qtr 2:11
Indianapolis 7
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Montreal 16 FINAL
Edmonton 33
Toronto 33 FINAL
Calgary 40
Winnipeg 9 FINAL
Brt Columbia 26
Saskatchewan 3 FINAL
Hamilton 28

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How do you feel about the decision to reinstate Adrian Peterson?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close