The Vikings hope running back Adrian Peterson can make it back before the season ends, after September surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. With exactly one month to go in the regular season, the current thinking is that Peterson could lose his race against time.
As one source with knowledge of the situation explained it to PFT, Peterson continues to work hard in an effort to get back, and he badly wants to return. At this point, however, it’s not certain that he’ll make it.
One obvious factor becomes whether Peterson’s presence will make a difference. If the Vikings slide out of playoff contention, why bother to rush Peterson back to the field for late-season garbage time?
A less obvious, but nevertheless important, factor is Peterson’s contract. With none of his $18 million in compensation for 2017 guaranteed, it makes no sense for Peterson to jeopardize his earning potential absent assurances for next year.
And so unless the Vikings start winning on a consistent basis, it makes little sense for the team to play Peterson. And unless Peterson genuinely believes that this team can work its way into contention for a Super Bowl appearance, it makes little sense for Peterson to play.
Tonight’s game against the Cowboys could go a long way toward answering both questions, and if the Vikings can finagle a win, they may launch into December with the confidence that they can play with anyone.