No one currently knows whether and to what extent Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will miss games. And that’s exactly how Vikings coach Mike Zimmer likes it.
Peterson has a torn meniscus. That general diagnosis can lead to all sorts of outcomes. From arthroscopic surgery and a temporary absence to, as Chargers receiver Stevie Johnson learned during training camp, placement on injured reserve.
The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that cushions and stabilizes the knee. The size, severity, and location of the tear becomes a major factor in determining the treatment and the absence. For now, no one knows how Peterson’s meniscus tear will be treated, and how long he will be out.
And that’s exactly how Vikings coach Mike Zimmer likes it.
While Peterson is gone, responsibility for the running game falls to Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata. Opposing defenses likely will focus more on stopping emerging star Stephon Diggs and the passing game, forcing McKinnon and Asiata to keep the other side of the ball honest if it chooses to take away Diggs.
Whenever Peterson returns, he’ll surely have extra motivation to prove that he’s still one of the best running backs in the league — and that his subpar performances in the first two weeks of the season were aberrations.