The Vikings don’t plan on playing running back Adrian Peterson in their preseason games and that won’t be the only way they try to limit the wear and tear on his body in his return to the lineup this season.
Running backs coach Kirby Wilson agrees with what we’ve heard from others in the organization about Peterson looking the same physically as he did in the past, but cited the other players that the Vikings have added to the offense as the reason why the team is planning a “more balanced” workload than Peterson’s been used to during his career. Wilson also raved about what he’s seen from second-year back Jerick McKinnon before adding that more balance doesn’t necessarily mean fewer carries for Peterson.
“I think it’s more about snaps per game, because that’s what you have to watch in regard to the wear and tear,” Wilson said, via NFL Media. “How he’ll last for the season is the snaps per game, not the carries or attempts per game, because that comes with the territory. He’s going to get his amount of touches that he gets, it’s the other snaps and plays that will determine how successful he is at lasting during the season and being powerful, strong, aggressive and explosive.”
If Teddy Bridgewater and the receiving corps takes a step forward, it should make for more running room for Peterson when he does get the ball as defenses have to guard against both the run and the pass more vigilantly than in some past seasons. That would be a good thing for the offense as a whole as well as any plans to limit how much of the load Peterson has to carry on his shoulders in 2015.