Adrian Peterson Injury: Vikings Must Look at RB in 2012 Draft

Michael Mill@@MikeMill23Senior Analyst IIIDecember 24, 2011

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 24: Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings is helped off the field after being injured in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on December 24, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Today, the Minnesota Viking's fans across the country held their breath after a gruesome hit against star running back Adrian Peterson in the team's game against Washington.

The hit on Peterson is one that every running back fears.

Peterson's leg contorted at a weird angle and his left knee bent in the wrong direction. 

He didn't return to the game, and at this point the severity of the injury is still unknown. Right now the injury has been listed as a sprained knee, but it's very doubtful that's what the MRI scheduled for late tonight will reveal.

Peterson was in obvious pain after the hit.

If this is the worst case scenario, Peterson could have tore his ACL or MCL. Either injury would likely keep him on the sideline for nearly nine months, which means he could miss a chunk of next season.

Even when he does return, an injury like that is never one that is easy to rebound from for a running back, especially one that depends on lateral quickness like Peterson.

It's possible that we witnessed the end of Peterson's career during today's game.

Obviously, we will all hope for the best. You never want to see a player, especially one the caliber of Peterson, go out that way.

If that is the case, the Vikings may want to look for a running back in this year's draft.

I'm not saying they should go out and grab a guy in the first round, but the team needs to consider a guy later on.

Toby Gerhart is a solid backup, but he isn't a guy that should carry the load every week.

The Vikings may be able to snag a starting caliber running back in the second round.

Miami's Lamar Miller and Wisconsin's Montee Ball are two big name guys that could slip into the early part of the second round.

This is assuming, of course, the worst case scenario.

Hopefully the MRI won't reveal any major damage to the ligaments and Peterson will be ready to go by the start of next season.