We learned on Monday that Adrian Peterson has a high ankle sprain and will be in a walking boot for the next couple of days. Leslie Frazier mentioned that Peterson may begin “light football work” on Friday, leaving open the possibility of AD getting back on the field against Atlanta this weekend. Despite the optimistic early prognosis, experts in high ankle sprains – in other words all media members, especially the ones without medical degrees – are skeptical that Peterson will actually recover in time to play on Sunday.
The fact that we’re talking about Peterson maybe playing this week is great news, when you consider all the stuff that could’ve happened to his leg when it got twisted under him during that play. On the other hand, when you consider where the team stands right now, and the importance of Peterson to their future plans, maybe it’s not such great news. Maybe the Vikings and Peterson would be better off if Adrian weren’t so tough.
Were I Leslie Frazier, I would sit Adrian down this week regardless of his condition. Obviously the season is lost. There is nothing to gain from a team standpoint by having Adrian go out there. Peterson wants to play because he always wants to play, but in this case Adrian shouldn’t have a say. It’s up to Frazier and the organization to decide what’s best. I wouldn’t even wait until Friday to see how Adrian feels, I’d shut him down now and announce Toby Gerhart as the starter for Atlanta.
That covers this week. But what about the five games after that? Those games will be equally meaningless. The argument could be made that the Vikings would be better off just shutting Peterson down for the year. Why take the chance? As a fan that would completely irritate me, because I want to see Adrian play, but I would understand if the organization elected to go that route. However, I doubt Adrian himself would stand for that. If Frazier even raises the possibility of Adrian being shelved for the year, Adrian will make that angry flared-nostril killer face from the Nike commercial and the coach’s testicles will turn to water.
So I don’t see Adrian being shelved for the season, unless his injury turns out to be worse than everyone thinks. My guess is that AD will miss Sunday’s game but be back on the field in two weeks to take on the Denver Tebows.
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