Adrian Peterson might be facing yet another injury-shortened season.
The Pro Bowl running back, who underwent surgery this winter to repair a torn ACL and MCL, could be starting the 2012 season on the physically unable to perform list, according to ESPN1500.com's Judd Zulgad.
The Vikings' primary concern is ensuring that Peterson doesn't attempt to come back too quickly and risk re-injuring himself or delaying his own progress. So, despite the fact that Peterson seemed to be moving decently at Minnesota's minicamp (though he didn't participate in any football-related drills), the team is still proceeding with caution.
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier told Zulgad:
He looks good. He's moving around without any hitch, he's doing a lot of good things. What you don't know is how he's going to be when you put pads on and someone comes and they dive at his ankle or they look as if they're going to grab his knee. That you can't predict. But based on where he is today, everything is moving in the right direction. I don't know if we'll put him on the practice field anytime soon when we get to Mankato. But everything indicates there's a very good chance he may be ready for that Jacksonville game [to open the regular season on Sept. 9]. We're still far enough out that you really can't say that right now.
Peterson suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Vikings' penultimate regular-season game in Washington when his left knee was hit on a low tackle. Drafted by the Vikings in the first round of the 2007 draft, Peterson is currently in the midst of a seven-year, $96 million deal he signed in September 2011.
This isn't Peterson's first bout with the injury bug: Last year, he struggled with an ankle sprain throughout much of the regular season, but he seemed to have recovered just before he suffered the ACL and MCL injuries. He finished last season with 208 carries for 970 yards and 12 touchdowns.
There is no telling how exactly this injury will affect his speed going forward, but the prognosis out of Minnesota seems to be positive.
For now, the concern is simply making sure that Peterson—who is far ahead of where he should be in his rehabilitation, according to Zulgad—doesn't try to do too much, too soon.