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 Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 105 FINAL
Orlando 98
Detroit 91 FINAL
Minnesota 97
New York 95 FINAL
Cleveland 90
Utah 102 FINAL
Dallas 120
Oklahoma City 90 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Chicago 5 FINAL(SO)
Ottawa 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Arizona 1 FINAL
Florida 2
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 4
Anaheim 0 FINAL
St. Louis 2
NY Islanders 0 FINAL
Colorado 5
Montreal 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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 Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close