Vikings running back Adrian Peterson rarely played in the preseason under former coach Leslie Frazier, and new coach Mike Zimmer plans to continue to hold his best player out of exhibition games.
Zimmer said Peterson is the only healthy player on the team who isn’t expected to play in Friday night’s preseason opener, and Peterson said the only way he can see himself playing in any preseason games at all is if he and the coaches decide he needs some live action in new coach Norv Turner’s offense.
“It all depends on how I’m feeling,” Peterson said, via the Pioneer Press. “I haven’t played a preseason game in two or three years, so we’ll see. With the new offense, I might want to go out there and get a few plays in, but I’ll sit down with Zimmer and see what he thinks.”
The last time Peterson carried the ball in a preseason game was the third week of the 2011 preseason, and in that game Peterson carried 14 times for 81 yards. If Peterson plays at all this preseason, it’s certainly safe to say he won’t get that heavy a workload.
And really, there’s no reason to risk an injury to Peterson in the preseason at all. Last year, Peterson sat out the entire preseason, and on his first carry of the regular season he ran 78 yards for a touchdown. Peterson will be ready when the games count.