MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings are aiming to put Adrian Peterson in for some exhibition game carries before they clear him for the regular-season opener.
In order to get to that point, the star running back will have to start practicing. That could come next week. The coaching and medical staffs will evaluate Peterson’s left knee after the Vikings return from San Francisco, the site of their first preseason game Friday night.
“I’m looking forward to being out here pretty soon. I’ve been out for like two weeks, and it’s time to get going,” said Peterson, who tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments last December. “I know that they understand that, and they’ve been watching and they’ve been getting good feedback. So I’m sure they are pretty much as excited as I am.”
Coach Leslie Frazier said Peterson’s pushing to join the team for practice has been “never ending,” but Peterson said Wednesday he’s let up on his lobbying.
“Everything I’m hearing is extremely positive so we’ll see where we are,” Frazier said.
The date that matters most is Sept. 9, when the Vikings play Jacksonville to start the season. Frazier said again there’s no indication Peterson won’t be able to take part in that game.
“Everything he’s done he’s right on point, but I say that without him ever participating in a drill with his teammates,” Frazier said, declining to commit to a certain number of practices Peterson will need before he’s allowed to play in the preseason.
The Vikings don’t want his first big blow from a defender to come in a game that counts. They’d rather him get that out of the way in August. Peterson said he thinks that would help him.
“I’m ready to get hit. It might sound strange, but just to get that feel,” Peterson said, pointing to his patellar tendon area in particular. That still “feels funny” as part of the recovery from the injury.
So whenever he returns to the backfield, he’ll continue to apply his “don’t waste today” mindset toward the rehabilitation work, knowing it will all pay off once he’s able to start taking those handoffsl again.
“Anytime they give me the ball, I’ll be ready to tote the load,” Peterson said.
Peterson also said he won’t have to return to Houston for court, where he has a resisting arrest charge against him from a closing-time incident at a nightclub there last month. Hearings are scheduled for Sept. 27 and Nov. 15, but his attorney will represent him.
“I feel like we’re in a good position right now. The most important thing is no more interruptions. So it won’t interfere with what’s going on with the Minnesota Vikings, my team, so we’ll just see how things play out,” Peterson said.
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