Adrian Peterson and Injured NFL Stars That Will Be Ready Week 1

Ryan Phillips@@RumorsandRantsContributor IIIJune 4, 2012

Adrian Peterson and Injured NFL Stars That Will Be Ready Week 1

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    When Adrian Peterson went down with a major knee injury in December, many feared that a portion of his 2012 season would be wiped out as a result. But Peterson, along with several other injured NFL stars appear on track to play in Week 1 of the upcoming campaign.

    Here is a list of the biggest names recovering from injuries who should be ready to go when the 2012 NFL season kicks off.

Adrian Peterson

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    The NFL was rocked on December 24 by the news that Adrian Peterson had injured his left knee. It turned out that Peterson tore the ACL and MCL while also damaging the meniscus in that knee and was expected to miss a significant chunk of time as a result.

    Reports out of Minnesota suggest that Peterson expects to be ready for Week 1 of the NFL season, but the Vikings are still monitoring his progress. Peterson is a physical specimen, and if any running back in the NFL can return to 100 percent from that devastating injury it would be him.

    I expect him to start a little slowly while the Vikings give Toby Gerhart carries to ease their franchise's best player back into the mix. But eventually Peterson will be back to himself sometime during the 2012 season.

Peyton Manning

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    For the first time in his career, Peyton Manning missed time with an injury in 2011. The resulting fallout was incredible as he ended up being cut by the Indianapolis Colts, and moved west to play for the Denver Broncos. 

    Manning has been fully participating in Devner's OTAs and has shown well. After several neck surgeries over the last 18 months, it would be understandable if he showed some rust, but the Broncos seem to think he is fine.

    The four-time MVP and 11-time Pro Bowler will undoubtedly be under center when Week 1 rolls around and could have the biggest impact of any player returning from injury this year.

Mario Williams

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    Mario Williams missed all but five games during the 2011 season thanks to a torn pectoral muscle that landed him on injured reserve. In the offseason, Williams landed with the Buffalo Bills on a six-year, $96 million contract that makes him one of the highest paid players in the NFL. 

    The former No. 1 overall pick will shift back to defensive end in Buffalo after playing outside linebacker in 2011 in the Houston Texans' new 3-4 look. Back at his natural position in 2012, Williams will likely get back to the form that made him one of the NFL's most feared pass-rushers.

    Williams is a two-time Pro Bowler and his addition to the Bills and the signing of fellow defensive end Mark Anderson should give Buffalo a phenomenal defensive line. Pairing those two ends with tackles Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams will create a game-changing force up front. 

Jamaal Charles

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    In 2010 Jamaal Charles burst onto the scene bay racking up 1,467 yards and five touchdowns on just 230 rushes. That 6.4 yards per carry average was simply mind-boggling. During that season Charles also hauled in 45 passes for 468 yards and three more scores.

    The Kansas City Chiefs rewarded him with a six-year, $27.97 million contract, then he opened the 2011season by tearing his ACL in the team's second game. Now he will be rebounding from that injury and will certainly be expected to return to his 2010 form.

    Luckily for Charles his injury came so early in the season that he should have no problem being ready for opening day in 2012. He will have had almost a full year to recover and get back to his All-Pro form from 2010.

    He'll be ready to go in Week 1.