Adrian Peterson made his way back onto the football field this past Sunday in Cincinnati, but it wasn’t the result Minnesota fans or Peterson’s fantasy football fans wanted: the five-time Pro Bowler and two-time NFL leading rusher was limited to 45 yards on 11 carries in a sound 14-42 Vikings beating at the hands of the Bengals.
At 4-10-1, Adrian Peterson and the Vikings aren’t playing for much more than pride at this point. And, with LeSean McCoy enjoying a 210-yard lead, unless Adrian plans on breaking his own single-game rushing record of 296 yards by a wide margin, the stats say Peterson won’t be repeating as the NFL’s leading rusher this year. It doesn’t appear likely even to the man himself.
“I don’t feel like I played with as much confidence as I would like. I was kind of hesitant on some runs. Mentally, I’m there. I’m in tune,” Peterson told ESPN after the latest loss.
“My body is just not responding the way I want it to right now.”
This comes a week after Peterson was inactive with an sprained foot for the Vikings’ 48-30 home win over McCoy’s Eagles. Adrian lobbied to play but ultimately coach Leslie Frazier decided Peterson would sit, a decision that seems prescient now.
Only time will tell the future of Adrian Peterson’s playing career in the wake of his struggles after injury; he could bounce back as good as ever or could have lost a step for good, based on his recent comments. With this year’s question mark at quarterback, the last thing the Vikings need is another uncertainty when looking toward the 2014 offseason. Drafting high, should Minnesota take one of this year’s running backs in a rich quarterback class? And what’s to become of Frazier after a 1-7 start in 2013?
He’ll be staying right where he is if Adrian Peterson has anything to say about it.
“I look forward to finishing my career with Coach Frazier here,” Peterson told reporters Friday in a show of support for his coach. “We’ll see.”
How big of an impact does Adrian Peterson’s future have on the Minnesota Vikings franchise? Did you start Peterson for your fantasy team? Should Minnesota be shopping for a new feature back to replace Adrian Peterson this offseason?