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: Core muscle rehab was 'cakewalk' compared to ACL recovery

Posted by: Updated: May 29, 2013 - 1:58 PM

 The Vikings’ first week of Organized Team Activities continued Wednesday at Winter Park with 89 of the 90 players currently under contract in attendance. Star defensive end Jared Allen was the only player not around. Receiver Greg Jennings, center John Sullivan and receiver Chris Summers all sat out Wednesday’s work. Jennings suffered a very minor ankle tweak during practice Tuesday, Summers is dealing with a hamstring issue and Sullivan figures to be out of action through June as he recovers from offseason knee surgery.

But the most notable attendee Wednesday was the league MVP.

Adrian Peterson, coming off a career year followed by offseason surgery on a sports hernia injury, was back at work and exuding his usual enthusiasm. Following Wednesday’s practice, Peterson spoke to a group of reporters.

Here’s how that exchange went:

Adrian, last year at this time at these OTAs, you were off to the side running hills and rehabilitating and trying to show that your torn ACL was on its way back. What’s different this year now that you’re in a whole different state physically?

Just being able to be involved in OTAs and come out here and participate with the guys. Just that competition level feels good. It feels a lot better than last year.

Are you physically 100 percent again after the core muscle injury?

Yeah. I’m pretty much 100 percent. Ya know, me knowing my body I’d like to be a little stronger in some areas. But I’m feeling great.

At the tail end of last year, what was that feeling like as you were battling that pain through the month of December and into the playoffs?

It was a little wear and tear towards the end of the season. And as each game came along, I could kind of feel it getting a little worse. But mind over matter. Ya know? So I just continued to push and dealt with it.

That rehab. A lot easier than what you went through on the knee a year ago?

Oh yeah. Yeah. It was a cakewalk compared to recovering from the ACL and what I had to go through to bounce back from that.

Do you feel like there is really no other injury that could ever compare to the ACL where you then take any other setbacks in stride?

Yeah. You could say that. But I definitely earned a lot more respect for your abdominal muscles. Because they work so much of your body. And after that surgery, I was definitely able to feel each area that it affects. So yeah, I definitely got an appreciation for it.

How much have you been able to lift since February?

Right after the surgery, it took me maybe a month-and-a-half to really start lifting. Free weights. Getting in there on the bench. And when I started, I kind of started off light, trying to take away some of the pressure from the lower abdominal with having my legs on the bench and doing some different exercises. Trying to keep the weight off and focusing on that area.

Are you able to do the same amount of weight now as you were before?


Why is it important for you to be at OTAs?

Just the team chemistry. I come out here to be around Christian Ponder, Matt Kalil and all the new faces. Let these young guys see how we do it when we’re in here working. Hopefully they pick up from it.

Are you working as hard this offseason as you did last year? Because it seemed like a year ago, you sort of set a new standard forever?

Yeah. Yeah. For me last year was a true test for me. And it made me realize that I can be working even harder than I was previously. So yeah, I’ve been working extremely hard with that goal of coming back and being better than I was last year. That’s always my mindset. Finding ways to improve and coming back better than I was the year before.

Is this team better than it was last year?

Um, it’s early now. We’ve got a lot of new faces. I feel like we have the pieces in place to be better than last year. So time will tell.

How can you be better than last year?

Get to the playoffs, win our division and win a championship.


Everyone needs to come out and really understand what we’re trying to accomplish as a group. And as an individual, you have to make sure you’re preparing yourself through the offseason, the OTAs, to make sure you prepped to come in and play your part in ultimately accomplishing that goal. If everyone has that focus, that’s how you get better.

There’s an obvious push to revive the passing attack and get a little more balance in this offense. Does that scare you at all?

Does it scare me? Not at all. I’ve been around, what, this is my seventh year. I feel like I’ll get a couple carries. So I don’t think I’ll miss out.

Adrian, you’re still out there in practice making catches out of the backfield. Don’t you always want them to throw the ball your way a little bit more?

Yeah. A lot of people have this misconception that Adrian cannot catch the ball. And that’s so false. They’ve really never thrown it to the running backs [here]. But Favre believed in us more and he’s checking it down to us and getting the ball into our hand in the open field.

It’s only OTAs and we’re hearing a lot of talk about this team’s hunger. That’s obviously a good sign. But what does it mean to hear that from so many veterans?

Even more so, the guys who have been around for a long time, you can look at them and some guys might be kind of tired of it and going through the motion. But our guys are still hungry and still trying to accomplish the ultimate goal. That’s winning a championship. That’s what it’s all about.

There are a lot of new receivers out there. Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings. Your thoughts?

I’m excited to see what these guys can do, what they’re going to bring to this team. With Greg Jennings, they’ve got a great veteran guy that’s going to be able to teach them the ropes so they can learn fast. So I’m excited to see what they can do for us this season.

What’s your impression of Joe Webb moving to receiver?

I’ve seen him catch a couple passes and I’ve seen some of his route running. He’s doing pretty good to make that transition. But that’s what you call an ultimate team player – a guy who keeps his head up and switches position and is doing what’s best for this team and doing anything that can help this team win.

Anything different for you these past couple months, just being the MVP and having extra demands on your time and a little more spotlight?

Yeah. A little more spotlight. Last year, I pretty much didn’t have no endorsement deals come through. This year, it was a little different. Last year, some of those were my choice. … But this year the offseason has been a little busy.

What did you add to the mix this year endorsement-wise?

EpiPen. Of course, I had that allergic reaction [to jambalaya last training camp]. Castrol Edge. Signed back with Nike. So I’ve got some stuff going on right now. You will see me more. Stay tuned.

You don’t want to use that EpiPen again though, right?

I do not want to use it. But I keep it around. 


Toronto 1 Bottom 6th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Washington 2 Top 8th Inning
Miami 0
NY Mets 5 Top 6th Inning
Atlanta 2
Boston 2 Top 6th Inning
Baltimore 0
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Chicago WSox 5 Top 6th Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Cleveland 2 Bottom 3rd Inning
Minnesota 1
Detroit 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Kansas City 2
Seattle 1 Bottom 4th Inning
Houston 1
Los Angeles 2 Top 3rd Inning
Chicago Cubs 1
Texas - N. Tepesch 2:35 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 3:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong 3:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Arizona - W. Miley 3:10 PM
Colorado - C. Bergman
Cincinnati - A. Simon 7:05 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 20 4th Qtr 15:00
Buffalo 10
Dallas 20 4th Qtr 14:30
St. Louis 21
Washington 20 3rd Qtr 7:50
Philadelphia 27
Houston 10 4th Qtr 12:22
NY Giants 17
Minnesota 9 4th Qtr 14:21
New Orleans 13
Tennessee 0 4th Qtr 13:43
Cincinnati 26
Baltimore 17 4th Qtr 14:55
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 4th Qtr 15:00
Detroit 12
Indianapolis 30 3rd Qtr 1:16
Jacksonville 3
Oakland 9 4th Qtr 13:42
New England 13
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Denver 3:25 PM
Kansas City 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Columbus 4 3rd Prd
Carolina 2
Buffalo 4:00 PM
St. Louis 5:30 PM
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 1st Half 40:00
Toronto FC 0
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 0:34
Montreal 18
Ottawa 3:00 PM
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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 Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
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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