Minnesota Vikings: Pros and Cons of Holding Adrian Peterson Back in Preseason
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has made a stunning comeback from reconstructive knee surgery performed late last December, but the coaching staff is still being patient with their best offensive player.
We just feel like more time with him in practice for some of the things that we're doing and the progression of getting him ready for this season is the right thing to do. That doesn't guarantee that he'll be ready for Jacksonville. But what it does is it gives us more time to throw more things at him in practice and get him prepared.
The Vikings took Peterson off the PUP list nine days prior to Tuesday's announcement, and Frazier had recently expressed hope that Peterson could play in Minnesota's third preseason game. Now, Peterson will have to wait until the first week of the regular season, at the very earliest.
Below, we run down some pros and cons of the Vikings' decision to shelf Peterson for the preseason.
No Risk of Re-Injury in Meaningless Games
The Vikings were always running the risk of rushing Peterson back too fast and for very little reward. Such would be the case if Peterson came back and re-injured himself during a meaningless preseason game.
With that risk out of the picture, Minnesota can now focus its attention on getting Peterson closer to 100 percent before the start of the regular season. For this "pro" alone, the Vikings made the right decision.
Preseason Means Little for Backs
For some positions, the preseason is a time to work out the kinks and develop a rhythm for the beginning of the real games. Running back is not one of those positions.
Backs play off instincts and instant reads more than any position, and those attributes are either deeply-engrained or non-existant. It's safe to safe Peterson knows how to handle the running back position.
Exposing him to any kind of re-injury for the sake of getting him comfortable in the offense really doesn't make sense in Peterson's case.
No Chance to See Peterson Get Hit
There aren't man cons to sitting Peterson for the preseason, but the Vikings now lack an opportunity to see him take a hit by someone wearing a different colored jersey.
While Peterson is getting plenty of touches in Vikings practice, he's still not allowed to get hit. Frazier wondered aloud to ESPN how Peterson would handle those first hits.
When some of the guys put a pad on him, how does he handle that? And when bodies fall down in front of him, how does he handle that? Does he stop and plant as the Adrian of old, or does he just come to a standstill where he's liable to taking a really serious hit?
Still, it is better for the Vikings to control that aspect under their own practice conditions than for Peterson to get beat up in the preseason.
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