Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards in 2012. More than half came while he was suffering from a sports hernia.
Specially, he gained 1,068 after Week 10, when he says the injury occurred against the Lions.
“That next day I felt very uncomfortable in my groin and abdominal area,” Peterson tells Josina Anderson of ESPN. “I thought to myself I’ll just wait until I recover but I never did. I came out after that play. Each week it just got worse and worse and worse.”
Peterson said the pain was the worst in Week 16 against the Texans.
“Against Houston, that was probably the worse I felt,” Peterson said. “That was the first time that I really doubted myself and questioned whether I would be able to continue the season. The pain was a 10 on a scale of 10. Put it like this, I developed a new respect for Greg Jennings who had the same type of injury. Initially I thought Greg was tripping and that he needed to be playing, but when I got it I was like, I understand bro’. This is nothing to fool with.”
The scariest part of the situation is that Peterson believes he would have been ever better if he’d been healthy.
“It definitely impacted my play,” Peterson said. “I wasn’t 100 percent, but I wanted to win a championship. I wasn’t going to stop or quit. I made a decision to keep going. I don’t want to make it seem like the sports hernia made me miss it. I could have done it with the injury. All I can say is that I would have had better performances.”
Peterson didn’t appear on the injury report with the condition until Week 15, when he was listed as probable with an abdomen injury. In Week 16 against Houston, Peterson was probable with the designation abdomen/groin. In Week 17 and in the wild-card playoffs against the Packers, Peterson again was probable with an abdomen injury.
Typically, the NFL doesn’t fine teams for undisclosed injuries after a season has ended — unless the player talks about it so much that the league ultimately has no choice but to take action.