ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha ranks Adrian Peterson #4 on his list of the 10 Most Indispensable Players in the NFL. Says Chadiha:
It’s been a long time since a rookie running back raced through the NFL like this guy. Along with setting a league record for most yards in a single game (296 against San Diego), Peterson energized a Vikings offense that wasn’t offering much in the way of sizzle. Now the people around Minnesota are harboring Super Bowl hopes and they’re probably thinking Peterson could gain 2,000 yards if he avoids the injuries that slowed him as a rookie. But you have to remember something else about this guy — he’s a star back without a strong passing game to ease the pressure on him. That alone makes him a member of this list.
If Chadiha’s argument is that Adrian is an exciting player, then I agree. If his argument is that he’s a potentially great player, then I also agree. But his list is “10 Most Indispensable” Players, which is about more than just how good a guy is. When you label a guy “indispensable,” what you’re saying is that his team absolutely can’t afford to lose him…you’re saying that, without that guy, the team’s whole season goes down the toilet. And I absolutely don’t agree that losing Peterson would mean a lost season for the Vikes. I think that Chester Taylor is good enough to take this team to the playoffs. Does that mean I would like to lose Adrian? No. Does that mean I think Chester is absolutely as good as Adrian? No. It just means that, for as great as Adrian can be, I don’t see his presence or non-presence as the #1 factor in determining whether this team makes a post-season run. It will help if he has a great year…but if he gets hurt week 1 and Chester becomes the #1 back, the team will not automatically be doomed.