Souhan: If Adrian Peterson says it, believe it

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 10, 2012 - 11:26 AM

The Vikings' star back kept telling everyone he'd be healthy by the season opener. His two TDs and 84 yards were convincing evidence.

If Adrian Peterson sends you an e-mail asking for money, claiming he's a prince from a foreign land with a once-in-a-lifetime deal, cut him a check.

If he tells you eating 18 grapefruits a day will help you lose 20 pounds, rent a refrigerated truck and drive to Florida.

In a league overflowing with disinformation, Peterson's word, from now on, is bullion. He earned the Better Business Bureau stamp of approval and his teammates' awe on Sunday, leading the Vikings to a victory as improbable and timely as his comeback.

Eight months after shredding his knee in a meaningless game in Washington, D.C., Peterson proved his vows to play in the Vikings opener were neither wishful thinking nor an unhealthy obsession, carrying 17 times for 84 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings' 26-23 overtime victory over Jacksonville.

Peterson promised this all along, but the Vikings, citing the severity of his injury, sowed doubt. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier admitted Sunday afternoon that Peterson moved so well in practice that he held him out of preseason games not to preserve his health but because he had little to prove.

"We thought 10 to 15 carries would be great," Frazier said. "He wound up with 17, which is just about where we wanted him to be.

"After some of those runs, I said, 'I'm not sure you weren't just faking that ACL.' He looked pretty good to me."

A recently mended anterior cruciate ligament couldn't keep Peterson from breaking the franchise records for rushing yards. He has 6,836, -- 18 more than Robert Smith, whose taped tribute appeared on the scoreboard, with Smith urging Peterson to pursue the "other" Smith, Emmitt, who holds the NFL record with 18,355 yards.

That record, of course, is out of reach.

Unless Peterson says it isn't.

"I pretty much knew that I'd be out playing today, but I had to keep it under wraps," Peterson said.

He bolted for 20 yards on one run. On the other 16, he took the kind of beating that would have caused cringing on the Vikings sideline had they not believed he was fully healed.

"As the game went on, you asked him how he's doing and he's giving you a response," Frazier said. "We talked about him being completely honest and not having any pride about if anything was bothering him, and we would pull him if we had to.

"It did encourage me, once we saw how he was handling things. Then we thought he could do a little more as the game went on."

The Vikings called 28 designed runs; Peterson carried on 17 of them. He caught one pass for 3 yards and, when the Vikings used him as a decoy in an ill-fated series near the Jaguars goal line in the fourth quarter, he gestured to the bench and sprinted off in frustration.

He carried more often than anyone could have expected, and less than he would have liked. "It was less," he said. "I was expecting to carry the load. I understand from their perspective how they're looking at it, but from my perspective, I knew I would be ready to play. It's a great way to start the season."

We've always marveled at his conditioning and competitiveness. "And his genetics," Frazier said.

What Peterson proved over the past eight months is that he's just as spectacular grinding through a morning workout in the spring as he is stiff-arming a linebacker in the fall.

We knew he could defy gravity and inertia. We didn't know, until Sunday, that he could ignore medical history and conventional wisdom.

He got hurt playing in a meaningless game for a bad team, and he pushed himself for eight months to play in a game that could prove meaningless against a mediocre opponent at the beginning of a rebuilding season.

We're accustomed to athletes protecting their futures, their earning power.

What Peterson did Sunday, and has done for the past eight months, spoke of athletic bravery.

"It feels amazing," he said.

He should have seen how it looked.

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Souhan grades the Vikings

    Sunday September 9, 2012

    Harvin, Peterson led way until Ponder started making clutch throws.

  • Chart: Vikings career rushing leaders

    Sunday September 9, 2012

    Adrian Peterson became the Vikings' career rushing leader during Sunday's victory over the Jaguars. Here are the top five rushers in team history and their yardage:

  • Adrian Peterson basked in the moment as he was introduced before Sunday's game against Jacksonville.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
UNLV 75
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close