When word first emerged that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will miss a pair of Saturday practices at a mandatory minicamp due to Peterson’s attendance at the fourth annual parade in East Palestine, Texas named for him, most assumed that the team had no issue with the development.
Most assumed wrong.
Coach Brad Childress said Friday that he learned of Peterson’s looming absence after reading Internet reports regarding the event, and that Peterson didn’t say a word about the conflict between the parade and the practices until Wednesday or Thursday of this week — even though the Vikings gave the offseason schedule to players “at a very early stage.”
“The work’s here,” Childress repeatedly said, per Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
“I just know that there’s a bunch of guys here,” Childress said. “This has the term
‘mandatory’ for a reason, and the work’s here, period. . . . You can say
whatever you want. This is the fourth annual Adrian Peterson Day. I
don’t know if it’s going to be like every year they’re going to have
that. We’re going to have this, too.”
Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune points out that Childress did not say whether Peterson will be fined for his absence.
We surmised when word of Peterson’s absence emerged that the move possibly reflects Peterson’s frustration over the fact that the team has yet to sign the hard-charging tailback to a long-term deal. Today’s developments serve only to bolster the possibility that Peterson has contracted a case of the blue flu.
And it appears that Peterson will miss the entire three-day minicamp. Pelissero reports that Peterson did not appear on the practice field Friday, and that Childress doesn’t expect him to return for the final practice on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Rosenthal wonders whether the Peterson celebration in Texas will feature activities like “don’t fumble the water balloon” and the firm handshake competition.
UPDATE: The full video of the press conference appears at the team’s website.