The Vikings play their first preseason game a week from Friday, but don’t look for Adrian Peterson to get any action on the field. In fact, you can probably scratch Adrian for the entire preseason, if Mike Zimmer’s comments are any indication.
Head coach Zimmer told Ian Rapoport that he has “nothing to see” from the veteran Peterson in preseason. Zimmer said Peterson may get a carry or two if he asks for it, but otherwise he will be held out entirely.
If past preseasons are any indication, Peterson probably will ask to get a carry or two, but that’s about the max he will receive. As time has gone on, coaches have gotten more and more careful with Adrian.
Peterson remains a precious commodity for the Vikings and there’s no reason for them to risk his health in a meaningless preseason game. Adrian doesn’t need preseason to prepare, he can get all the reps he requires in practice.
The key thing is keeping Adrian healthy and fresh. He likes to talk about how he’s a freak of nature who won’t break down as he approaches 30, but the fact is he is only mortal like the rest of us.
Preserving Peterson for the regular season is not just the smart move, it’s the only move. And Mike Zimmer obviously doesn’t need to be told this. He didn’t get to be head coach by being dumb.