Peterson ran for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns while leading the Vikings to an NFC North championship in 2015.
Peterson captured his third career rushing title in 2015 in a bounce-back year for the All-Pro running back and former league MVP. He played only one game in 2014 before being suspended the rest of the year after pleading no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault toward his four-year-old son.
Peterson was reinstated in April and did not miss a step upon returning to the field. He was selected to his seventh Pro Bowl and averaged 4.5 yards per carry on 327 carries, the third-most in his career, this season.
The Vikings sent out this tweet after the announcement was made:
Minnesota Vikings @Vikings
RT to congratulate @adrianpeterson on being voted @FedEx Ground Player of the Year! MORE: https://t.co/VxtF5FEIac https://t.co/cyhMdVcY8F2016-2-6 22:03:09
Having Peterson back this year was crucial to the Vikings' success en route to their most wins in a season since 2009. While quarterback Teddy Bridgewater took great strides in becoming Minnesota's quarterback of the future, he threw only 14 touchdowns in 2015.
Peterson's play in the backfield took a lot of the pressure off Bridgewater. He ran for more than 100 yards in only three of Minnesota's final eight games, but his ability to break off big runs at any time was still an aspect that needed to be accounted for.
He'll turn 31 years old in March, which would normally begin the questions about how many years Peterson has left to be a productive every-down back. But his performance this season, capped off by winning this award, shows that he still has a lot left in the tank for a Vikings team that's on the rise.