The Vikings haven’t really shied away from using running back Adrian Peterson during the first three games of the season.
His 58 carries through three weeks are right in line with his totals in seasons when he wasn’t coming off a torn ligament in his knee. The willingness to ride Peterson included 25 carries in last Sunday’s win against the 49ers.
He could have gotten even more of a workout, but the team decided to use Toby Gerhart on the final eight rushing plays of the game in an effort to keep Peterson fresh in a game that the team seemed to have well in hand. That nearly backfired after Gerhart fumbled three times in those final eight carries, but the Vikings won the game and the increased workload seems to have convinced Peterson that he’s fully back after the knee surgery he needed to repair his torn ACL.
“I woke up Monday after this game, and I felt like I played some football,” Peterson said, via Ben Goessling of the Pioneer Press. “I feel like the rust is knocked off now. That’s what I needed, and I’ll be ready to roll even better.”
Peterson will get a chance to roll even better against the Lions this weekend. Detroit has allowed a little more than 94 yards per game on the ground so far this season, so they should be able to put up a strong front against the now rust-free Peterson in their attempt to avoid falling two games out of first in the NFC North.