Adrian Peterson's MVP season looks a bit more incredible now that it appears he played through a painful abdominal injury the second half of it.
Peterson had surgery Thursday to repair a sports hernia. Dr. William Meyers performed the procedure in Philadelphia, the Vikings said in a news release, and the team expects "a speedy recovery with no long-term concerns."
Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards, 8 short of tying the NFL single-season record set by Eric Dickerson in 1984. Peterson was named the NFL MVP on Saturday night.
As it turns out, he was pushing through severe pain for the Vikings' final six regular-season games and a playoff loss to the Packers. In an interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson, Peterson said he suffered the sports hernia injury some time during the Vikings' 34-24 home victory over the Lions on Nov. 11.
"I just remember getting twisted up pretty bad in an awkward position," he said. "That next day I felt very uncomfortable in my groin and abdominal area. I thought to myself, 'I'll just wait until I recover,' but I never did."
The Vikings held Peterson out of practices down the stretch.
"I wasn't able to lift [weights] because of the strain that it would put on those muscles on an upper- or lower-body workout," he told ESPN. "It was just about doing what I had to do to push myself every week. My body was sore from the game and the sports hernia every Monday, so I did what I had to do to recover and get my body right.
"I just played through the pain. I ran on adrenaline."
In Week 16, against Houston, Peterson carried 25 times for 86 yards. During that game, he said, the pain from the sports hernia reached its maximum: "That was the first time that I really doubted myself and questioned whether I would be able to continue the season. The pain was a 10 on a scale of 10."
Peterson rebounded in the season finale against Green Bay with 199 yards to challenge Dickerson's record and lead the Vikings into the playoffs with a 37-34 victory. The Vikings lost 24-10 to the Packers on Jan. 5 in the wild-card playoff round. Peterson had 99 yards rushing.
Peterson said his post-operative recovery time would be about three or four weeks.
Three other surgeries
At least three other Vikings had surgery in the past couple of weeks.
Defensive end Jared Allen had a torn labrum in his left shoulder repaired, punter Chris Kluwe had a meniscus tear in his left (non-kicking) knee fixed and center John Sullivan had a microfracture procedure on his left knee. All of those players played through their injuries this past season without missing a game.