Adrian Peterson Approves of Minnesota Vikings' Approach to His Preseason Role
Even Peterson, a fierce, relentless competitor who has lobbied for more playing time seemingly since the day he was drafted, was satisfied with the decision. That's as sure a sign as any the Vikings are making a wise move.
Peterson's happiness stems from the Vikings' decision to shut him down for the team's final two preseason matchups.
Minnesota's decision is a cautious approach to the future of their franchise ball-carrier, and it's probably a wise one. He played 12 games last season before tearing ligaments in his left knee. Devastating leg injuries can derail the career of any running back, regardless of talent.
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier insisted in the AP report that it has nothing to do with recurring issues:
"There are no setbacks. That's not the reason we're doing it," Frazier said. "We just feel like more time with him in practice with some of the things that we're doing and the progression of getting him ready for the season, it's the right thing to do."
In today's NFL this is a good idea. True No. 1 running backs do not grow on trees, and healthy ones are even more rare. Preserving Peterson for as long as possible is "the right thing to do" for the team and for him as a player.
Peterson entered the NFL six years ago with question marks about his durability, and the fear has never subsided. He played 16 games in 2008 and 2009, but has missed at least one game in his other three seasons.
What would you do with Peterson?
His rambunctious, violent running style does nothing to ease anyone's mind, especially because of the position he plays and the responsibility Minnesota puts on his shoulders.
Frazier didn't promise that Peterson would be ready for the team's regular-season opener against Jacksonville in the AP report, but these measures are being taken to make that idea more plausible.
Resting Peterson in mostly meaningless preseason games is the only choice when it comes to his availability when the games really matter.
The Vikings' decision looks even better now that Peterson has signed off on it. It's important to keep your best player happy, and Peterson obviously understands the full scope of his fragile legs.
Sitting the final two preseason games will hardly matter for Peterson as a player. He's still the most physically gifted running back in the NFL.
All eyes will be on "All Day" when he eventually suits up this season.
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