Adrian Peterson anxious to play, whatever the role
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Adrian Peterson must be itching for more work.
The Minnesota Vikings MVP running back hasn’t played in a game in the preseason and is expected to get his first game action this Sunday when Minnesota travels to San Francisco for the third preseason game. He’ll get more time Sunday, but probably not a lot of it.
“We’ve discussed that with Adrian, and discussed it with our offensive staff, and they have a good feel for how we’re going to handle that,” coach Leslie Frazier said Friday.
But clearly Peterson is champing at the bit. On Friday, Peterson and quarterback Christian Ponder switched jerseys for the beginning of practice and Peterson was practicing throws. This, after doing drills with the defensive line and linebackers earlier in the week.
“He was in the offensive receivers line and wanted to see if he could throw the ball as well as our quarterback, and our quarterback could run as well as he could run,” Frazier said. “Just having a little fun, but glad to see him switch back to (No.) 28 as practice went on.”
Frazier said Peterson is always in his ear about doing more, but the Vikings are perfectly happy with Peterson as the league’s best running back and a challenger for the single-season rushing mark, which he fell eight yards shy of last year in his MVP season with 2,097 rushing yards.
Peterson isn’t quite ready to challenge to be a quarterback.
“Not quite in the mix for that, no,” Frazier joked. “Adrian, now, he’s a pretty good athlete. There aren’t too many things he can’t do. He’s always talking to me about going and blocking a field goal or returning kickoffs. ‘Coach, I can be a great punt returner. Let me come off the edge. What tackle is going to block me coming off the edge?’ There aren’t many things he thinks he can’t do on the football field.”
One thing Peterson likely won’t do is play extended snaps on Sunday. Frazier said the first-team offense and defense will play into the second half on Sunday at San Francisco for the third preseason game, but he’s remaining tight-lipped about how much action Peterson will see.
“We got some things in place for him, and we’ll see how it goes as the game goes on,” Frazier said. “But he’s had a great training camp for us. He’s worked extremely hard. He’s prepared himself. We’ll see how it goes as the game goes.”
Follow Brian Hall on Twitter