EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — He might not have carried the ball again in the preseason, but there will be no limitations on MVP running back Adrian Peterson when the season opens Sunday with the Minnesota Vikings traveling to Detroit.
The Peterson story is quite different from last year, when he was held out of the preseason while making his way back from reconstructive knee surgery and Minnesota put Peterson on a “pitch count” during the early part of the season.
This year, Peterson is full strength, coming off perhaps the most impressive season by a running back in NFL history and the Vikings are ready to ride their MVP.
“It’s far different this time around,” Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said Friday. “Last year at this time, there were so many question marks and we had a pitch count on him as far as the number of snaps and carries we were going to give him. No such thing this season.
“We’ve taken all that off the table and whatever we got to do to win, matter of fact he and I talked about that. So, we’ll see how the game is going, but there are no conditions placed on him for this ball game.”
It’s likely music to Peterson’s ears. A day earlier, he said he was anxious to get his hands on the ball and get the season started. Peterson played only two snaps this preseason, a small appearance in the third preseason game, and didn’t carry the ball once.
“Yeah. I’m looking forward to it, man,” Peterson said Thursday. “I’ve been sitting out, obviously, in the preseason. So I’m wired up. I’m trying to stay relaxed and not get too excited for this upcoming game and just making sure the preparation is where it needs to be this week and get ready to roll on Sunday.”
The Vikings are ready to roll with Peterson. Even though he didn’t play much in the preseason, there are no worries about him being ready for a full load on Sunday at Detroit.
“No question, and he proved that a season ago,” Frazier said. “So, there’s evidence to show that he’s more than capable of playing without a preseason and we’re riding with that.”