It’s not my job to sell hope like it’s the Vikings’ job to sell hope, but every now and then I like to jump into the hope-selling business anyway, just cause I think it’s good for the soul. So in the interest of this, I offer up the following: Ian Rapoport of Rap Sheet on Adrian Peterson’s prospects for being back to his old self in time for the start of the season.
One thing we all learn to be cautious about is timelines for surgeries. Players are always either ahead of schedule, behind schedule, though rarely on schedule. Who knows? Probably the best way to do it is to understand why a guy is where he is. For instance, some teams figure six or so months to return from an ACL tear as a reach. When Patriots WR Wes Welker tore his on Jan. 3 a few years back, he was ready for training camp a couple days in. Seven months. But it was actually six months from surgery, since he waited an entire month for swelling to go down. What does this mean for Vikings RB Adrian Peterson?
He tore his on Dec. 24, then had surgery five days later. No wait. So, his clock actually started a month before Welker’s when you compare timelines. Welker was on the field six months after surgery, but he started to look like himself after eight months. For Peterson, without complications, that would put him on the field in early July (before camp) and feeling like himself in early September. That’s why he may not start the year on the PUP list. “I think it sped up my timetable,” Peterson told me, about not waiting for surgery. “My first thought was, ‘Hey, I want to get the surgery done as fast as possible to go ahead and start this process. Get it going. I haven’t had any setbacks.”
By Rapoport’s (incredibly optimistic) reasoning, there’s no reason not to think Adrian could be 100% for week 1. Of course Adrian being Adrian, our expectation is that he will be no less than 125% by week 1, and possibly as high as 150%. He makes Superman look like a pansy.
Then again, there is that other line of reasoning that says the Vikings shouldn’t even play around with it, but should PUP Adrian to start the year no matter how he feels just to be on the safe side. Cause, you know, it’s not like they’re really playing for anything this year. Well except Percy Harvin who is of course playing for a new contract even though he technically has two years left.
In the end it will be the team’s call of course and not Adrian’s. It’s Adrian’s body but it’s the Vikings’ money and if they don’t want to take the chance, then that’s the end of that. Adrian may get frustrated if they hold him back but we don’t have to worry about him doing anything silly like demanding a trade. He’s not that kind of guy.