Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Adrian Peterson's production through sports hernia left head coach amazed

Posted by: under Vikings, Packers, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier Updated: February 22, 2013 - 12:16 PM

It’s now been 54 days since Adrian Peterson completed one of the most remarkable running back seasons of all-time. For months, everyone around football marveled about how Peterson bounced back from torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments to post 2,097 rushing yards, the second most prolific single-season output in NFL history. Peterson was rewarded for his efforts with the league MVP award. And if that wasn’t extraordinary enough, then it was learned earlier this month that Peterson played the final six games of the season with a painful sports hernia. That injury caused the Vikings to significantly cut back on his practice time. In December, for example, Peterson essentially only went through practice on Fridays. And yet in the Vikings’ five games in the season’s final month, Peterson totaled 861 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

This morning at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier shared more details on Peterson’s injury and reiterated his amazement in the running back’s ability to not only play through pain but to continue producing at such a high level. Here is an excerpt from that exchange.

A year ago at this event, you were talking about the need to throttle Adrian back as he was trying to accelerate his recovery timetable and rehab workload. But after what he showed in recovering from an ACL, is something like sports hernia surgery simply like a hangnail for him?

“When he had that injury and we were monitoring in his practices – as you guys remember, we were holding him out And then he’d practice on Friday -- and then he’d go out and play the way he did on Sundays, it was just amazing. ACL? Sports hernia? And to play the way he played? So this surgery, it’s like a piece of cake after the ACL and what he was able to accomplish. But he’s unique. He’s very unique.”

When that injury first happened, did you internally wonder if his reps would have to be cut back in games? Because that lingered for a month-and-a-half?

“We did. There were times I’d be telling [running backs coach] James Saxon on the headset, ‘Watch him on this carry. See if we have to take him out.’ And I’d talk to Adrian on those Fridays when he would get in some practice time and say, ‘What do you think?’ And he’d say, ‘Coach, I’ll be ready. I’ll be ready.’ But I couldn’t always tell if he was going to be ready. And then you’d go through warm-ups  in pregame and it was like, man, it looks like he’s going to be OK. But in the back of your mind you’re just wondering can he finish. And then he’d break a long run and you’re like, ‘He’s different.’”

So the only game where it held him back was Houston?

“That was probably the game that it bothered him the worst. That game. You probably saw him grabbing (the injury) in that ballgame. That’s when I remember telling our coaches, ‘That’s it for him.’ And we pulled him in that ballgame. That game was the worst.”

Were there other games where you noticed anything else with that?

“Yeah, there were other games where I’d look and I’d see him not quite where I thought he would be and we’d talk to him and just see what he felt and then he’d go back out and he’d finish and he’d play well.”

What specifically was his discomfort?

“He just had pain when he was raising the leg up. With the sports hernia, it’s like that. When you run or sprint, that’s where you’re going to get the catch [and the pain]. But, to our amazement, his ability to block out that part of it and still perform at the level that he performed at, it’s just amazing. Because it’s not an area where you’re going to be taking shots or anything like that. It’s just a matter of your tolerance.”

And you were comfortable he couldn’t do more damage to that? I’d imagine if it was a torn MCL or something like that, the approach would have been completely different?

“Yeah, completely different. Completely different. But we were always monitoring how he was doing, where he was, giving him treatment. He’d make progress. But the Houston game was probably the one game where he was really set back and there was a push to get him ready for the next game. I don’t remember who we played the next ballgame.”

It was the Packers. Regular season finale. 199 yards.

“Yeah. So to get him ready for that ballgame, we were concerned going into that ballgame how he was going to perform. And then … Incredible.”

After the season, were you concerned or talk to him at all. Because he went and played in the Pro Bowl?

“I know. That was something he had his heart set on and felt like he could protect himself. And the coaches over there, they did a good job, too. They didn’t stress him, so it worked out good. They knew. Mike McCarthy and his staff, they knew.”


San Diego 21 FINAL
Denver 35
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Indiana 88 FINAL
Charlotte 79
Philadelphia 103 FINAL
Detroit 109
Dallas 85 FINAL
New Orleans 88
NY Islanders 3 FINAL
Boston 2
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 4
Vancouver 4 FINAL
St. Louis 1
Chicago 2 FINAL
Nashville 3
Arizona 0 FINAL
Minnesota 2
Carolina 0 FINAL
Calgary 5
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Columbus 5 FINAL
San Jose 4
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Montreal 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
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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 Noon
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




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