Running out of time? Peterson sits out practice, isn’t sure he’ll play vs. Packers
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Could last Sunday have marked Adrian Peterson's final game with the Minnesota Vikings?The running back made that question worth pondering Wednesday when he didn't practice and said he was uncertain about playing Saturday at...
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Could last Sunday have marked Adrian Peterson’s final game with the Minnesota Vikings?
The running back made that question worth pondering Wednesday when he didn’t practice and said he was uncertain about playing Saturday at Green Bay. He returned from a knee injury on Sunday, running six times for 22 yards in a 34-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Peterson, 31, said he took Wednesday to “rehab and recover” after suffering some “nicks” on Sunday. The Vikings’ injury report listed him out with “knee/groin” issues. He would not speculate on whether he might practice today.
“I’m just taking it one day at a time, resting up,” Peterson said. “Like I say, just came out with a couple of nicks. … I’m taking it one day at a time to see how I feel and we’ll address (Saturday) when the time comes.”
The Vikings (7-7) are a longshot to earn an NFC wild-card playoff berth, but must beat the Packers to stay in contention.
“I’m focusing on just making sure my body is completely healthy and trying to get back out as soon as possible,’’ Peterson said.
After Sunday’s game, he said he couldn’t commit to playing in the Jan. 1 regular-season finale against Chicago, either.
Coach Mike Zimmer, speaking to reporters before practice Wednesday, said Peterson was “probably not quite” 100 percent against the Colts and wouldn’t speculate on how much he might play against the Packers at Lambeau Field.
Peterson suffered a torn right meniscus Sept. 18 against the Packers and missed the next 11 games. He called it a “big step for me” coming back in three months after he said he had been told the recovery time for his injury was “four to six months.”
His future beyond this season is murky.
Peterson is under contract in 2017 for $18 million but it’s not guaranteed, and it’s highly unlikely the Vikings would bring him back at that salary. Minnesota could release him in March without any further financial obligation, or sign him to a renegotiated deal.
Peterson, 31, has played in parts of three games this season, rushing a combined 37 times for 72 yards, a 1.9-yard average. He shrugged off the notion that he might need to show the Vikings more before they pick up an $18 million option.
“I wouldn’t think so,” said Peterson, who ranks 16th in NFL history with 11,747 career rushing yards. “I’ve been here for 10 years. I think I’ve done some OK things, so I don’t know. You’ll have to ask the other side that question to see what they feel, but for me, I don’t really feel like I have anything to prove. I’ve been here 10 years.”
Peterson has led the league in rushing four times, and last year became the second-oldest player to accomplish the feat. In 2012, he ran for 2,097 yards, the second-best single-season total in NFL history and was named MVP.
Asked whether Peterson needs to audition in the final two games for next season, Zimmer said, “He’s under contract.” Asked whether Peterson might be worth
$18 million next season, he said, “I don’t know, we’ll have to see. I’m not in charge of the money.”
Peterson didn’t want to discuss whether he believes he could be worth $18 million.
“I’m not really going to get into contract talk and all that,” he said. “I’m just worried about getting healthy and finishing off the season.”