Last year, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson skipped the preseason while continuing his rehab from a Christmas Eve torn ACL.
This year, Peterson will play in at least one preseason game.
Coach Leslie Frazier told reporters on Sunday that the 2012 NFL MVP will play next Sunday, when the Vikings go to San Francisco for a game against the 49ers. The game will be televised on NBC.
“We’re going to get him in the ball game Sunday night and we want to be a balanced offense, but as anyone that follows us knows, our offense is going to be ran through number 28, through Adrian,” Frazier said. “Yeah, we want to be balanced for sure and we are doing everything we can to help our passing game to improve. But part of what will help our passing game be improved is having Adrian at full strength and having another super year like he’s had. We want to be balanced, but we’ll see how things go.”
Starters typically continue into the second half of the third preseason game. For Peterson, the word “typically” has never really applied; still, Frazier said Peterson won’t play beyond halftime.
He finished last season with 2,097 rushing yards on 348 carries, for an average of 6.0 yards. This year, he openly has talked about rushing for 2,500 yards.
Given that Peterson rushed for 1,322 yards in the team’s final eight games of the 2012 season, it’s not as crazy as it sounds.