EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — Optimism over Adrian Peterson’s knee injury faded on Wednesday after learning the star running back will need surgery.
Peterson and the team remained hopeful, leaving quite a window from three weeks to four months for recovery. They would love to have him back in uniform for a late playoff run, but realistically we could have seen him for the last time in a Viking uniform.
That’s not only this year, but opening the real possibility Adrian has played his last game as a Viking. He is due to make more than $17 million next year, with a $6 million dollar bonus due in March and unless he is willing to re-negotiate, there is no way the Vikings will pay him that much.
Age and wear and tear will catch up the best of professional athletes. Peterson famously returned from a torn ACL to lead the league in rushing in 2012, but that was four years ago, which is a lifetime for an NFL running back. Even one as great as Peterson has been.
Surgery for his torn meniscus will be performed on Thursday. Which means for now, Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata and Ronnie Hillman, signed as a free agent on Wednesday, will make up the Vikings back field.
The surgical procedure will either be to trim the meniscus or repair it altogether — that’s why making any prediction on Peterson’s possible return is premature.
Another starter needing surgery is left tackle Matt Kalil, who is out for the rest of the season with a hip injury. Kalil has started all 66 games in his career, now in his fifth year. T.J. Clemmings will move to his spot at that crucial left tackle position.
So two weeks into the season, the Vikings have lost their starting quarterback, running back and left tackle, all former No. 1 draft picks.