Adrian Peterson ran through opposing teams filled with 300-pound defenders at will last season, but he was nearly done in by a shrimp weighing a fraction of a pound.
The Minnesota Vikings running back returned in 2012 from an ACL injury, also dealing with head injuries and broken bones, but none of them could stop him. While he’s nearly unbeatable on the field, Peterson learned the hard way about a much more dangerous — even potentially deadly — weakness.
Peterson said he was eating a bowl of shrimp gumbo during training camp last summer when he went into anaphylactic shock. Before that he had no idea he was allergic to shellfish. In fact, he said seafood used to be one of his favorite foods.
“I thought I was Superman until I experienced that life-changing anaphylactic shock,” Peterson told USA Today. “I was eating lunch and gobbled down a couple of bowls of gumbo.”
“Then, 15 minutes later, I’m in my dorm room resting up. My eyes started itching and my throat was swelling up. I could barely breathe.”
Adrian Peterson had the presence of mind to call the team trainer, Eric Sugerman, who race to help with an EpiPen that stabilized Peterson long enough to make it to the hospital. The near-death incident has now prompted Peterson to join the maker of EpiPen to take part in an Anaphlaxis Preparedness Campaign.
Peterson made quite a comeback in 2012. After suffering a torn ACL on Christmas Eve 2011, he defied the odds and not only came back for the next season, but had the best year of his career. His comeback has become an inspiration for other players trying to recover from ACL tears, including Darrelle Revis and Robert Griffin III.
Adrian Peterson recovered pretty well from his seafood allergy incident as well. He came within a hair of setting the NFL rushing record last year, ending nine yards away with 2,097 yards.