Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is ready to butt heads with his best player.
Frazier told USA Today that he believes running back Adrian Peterson, who is recovering from a torn ACL suffered on December 24, will be so eager to get on the field during training camp that it will be up to the coaching staff to hold Peterson back and make sure he doesn’t overdo it in July and August, and in the process jeopardize his chances of getting on the field for the September 9 opener.
“He’s so valuable to our organization that we have to be smart,” Frazier said. “We’ll tread lightly as far as Week 1 and how much he’ll contribute on the field. Even when we get to training camp, he’s going to be chomping at the bit but we’ll have to be smart.”
Frazier, who is currently on a USO Tour in the Persian Gulf, said the last time he saw Peterson it appeared that he remained on schedule to be on the field for Week One, but that it will be up to the medical staff — not Peterson — when the coaches have him fully participating in practices.
“He was looking good when we left,” Frazier said. “He’s right on course with what the doctors and trainers have asked him to do. We’ll rely on what the doctors and trainers tell me and what we see as to when to put him back in uniform and get him involved.”
Peterson may want to be involved when camp opens on July 27, but the Vikings’ coaches and medical staff seem united in their insistence that they’ll slow Peterson down if they have to, with an eye toward having him peaking when the season starts six weeks later.