Vikings fans breathed a deep sigh of relief last week, when running back Adrian Peterson finally looked like Adrian Peterson again (including the fumbles). But one person doesn’t think Adrian Peterson looked like Adrian Peterson (except for the fumbles).
“I worked extremely hard to be able to come back and be able to go, and not look like I’ve missed a step,” Peterson said Thursday, via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “But I can tell. [With] 130-something yards, people say, ‘Oh, he looks good,’ and this, that and the other. But me personally, I wasn’t the Adrian Peterson I remember last Sunday.”
Peterson, who had 134 yards rushing and 58 receiving in Week Two, knows he has a great opportunity to look like the old Peterson on Sunday, when the team against which he gained a single-game NFL record of 296 yards returns to Minnesota, with former Chargers head coach Norv Turner now coordinating the Minnesota offense.
“Coach Turner, I remember running by him a couple of times on the sideline [in 2007],” Peterson said. “Just a great game. . . . I’m not going to lie to you. I do look back, and I think I could have been the first person to go for 300. Four yards [short]. . . . If I get close to 296 or 300 again, I’ll be asking for [the ball].”
Turner said Peterson seemed a little fatigued against the Lions on Sunday, which may have contributed to the fumbling. Peterson agrees he needed to get back in full game shape.
“I really was able to kind of get my body broken in in this game,” Peterson said. “Like 30-something touches, so my body really took a pounding. So I had to build that callus over the entire body as I get back out there. So I’m sure guys will be bouncing off me a little more this Sunday.”
In Week One, Peterson seemed lost in a game plan that hoped to take advantage of his presence without re-establishing his impact. After Week Two, there could be more opportunities for play-action, especially if the Chargers are determined not to once again be shredded by Peterson.