Barry Sanders edges Peterson for Madden 25 cover

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Adrian Peterson won’t get the chance to show he can fight through jinxes as well as he can come back from major knee surgery.

Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings’ MVP running back, was a finalist for the cover of the 25th annual Madden football video game cover along with Detroit Lions Hall of Fame back Barry Sanders in an “old school” versus “new school” voting. Sanders becomes the second straight Lions player to grace the cover.

Sanders won the final voting to be on the cover of ‘Madden 25,’ winning the finals against Peterson, who ran for 2,097 rushing yards last year, the second-highest single-season total in NFL history, less than a year after having major knee surgery to repair tears to his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.

Peterson had won the “new school” bracket of the voting by beating Houston Texans running back Arian Foster in the semifinals, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy in each round of the voting.

Sanders was one of the first athletes to be featured on the cover, appearing with John Madden, the franchise’s namesake, on Madden NFL 2000. Sanders was going to appear in 1999, but ended up retiring.

Former quarterback Daunte Culpepper is the only Vikings player to be featured on the cover while playing for the team, getting the honor for Madden NFL 2002.

Of course, the Madden cover has long been considered a jinx, befalling the likes of Culpepper, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Donovan McNabb and Shaun Alexander.

Last year though, Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson won the voting and was on the cover. While his touchdown production declined, he set a single-season receiving record with 1,964 yards.

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