Minnesota Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson wasted no time getting back on the practice field following offseason groin surgery. The early indications are positive with four months until the new season gets underway.
Andrew Krammer of 1500ESPN.com reports Peterson has taken part in the team's pre-draft minicamp after an operation to help heal a groin ailment that plagued him last season. Head coach Mike Zimmer was pleased with what he saw:
"Adrian [Peterson] is doing fantastic, he practiced yesterday. He's been here, been in good spirits and the rest of the guys are doing well."
His presence at practice is another step in the right direction. NFL.com's Around The League provided remarks from Peterson last month, in which he suggested progress was being made, but he wasn't all the way back to full strength quite yet:
Adrian Peterson: "I can't say that I'm back right now, but I'm not far off at all."— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) April 9, 2014
It's hard to imagine Peterson or the Vikings taking any unnecessary risks at this stage of the offseason. So the fact he's already practicing, regardless of the capacity, is a sign that he's well on his way to lining up in the Minnesota backfield in Week 1.
How many rushing yards do you project for Peterson in 2014?
The dynamic eighth-year back is coming off a season in which he racked up over 1,250 yards rushing and 11 total touchdowns. That would be a banner year for most players. It was a notable drop-off for him after nearly breaking the single-season rushing record in 2012 with 2,097 yards.
He lacked the explosion that made those monster numbers possible, especially in the second half of the season. The groin injury was likely a major factor.
The good news is that it sounds like the issue should no longer be nagging him heading into the 2014 campaign, barring any setbacks. That's obviously huge for a Minnesota offense that ranked in the middle of the pack in both yards and points last season.
As long as Peterson can stay healthy he immediately becomes the favorite to win the rushing title. He finished fifth last season despite the injury. At full strength, he's a nightmare for defensive coordinators around the NFL.