Minnesota Vikings vs. 49ers: 5 players to watch

6 of 6

Aug 9, 2015; Canton, OH, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) walks off the field after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 14-3 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

5. Adrian Peterson

All eyes will be on Adrian Peterson as the Vikings open up the season Monday night in San Francisco.

To call Peterson’s offseason tumultuous would be a gross understatement. His offseason was basically a circus sideshow. And Peterson himself often did things deliberately to make it even more of a spectacle.

Riding a camel into your own massively luxurious birthday party will tend to get you a little bit of attention. As will waging a public battle with your team over contract demands.

Twitter rants. Trade rumors. Retirement talk. For those who revel in drama, Peterson’s offseason had it all.

After months of being talked about for everything except football, Monday night Peterson finally gets to return to just being a running back again.

Peterson gave us a mere glimpse last year of what he can be in Norv Turner’s offense, playing just one game before getting suspended. Hopefully this year he will get a chance to play all sixteen and really shine in Turner’s system.

After nearly a year off, Peterson should be fresh. After everything he’s dealt with off the field in the past 12 months, he should be angry.

A fresh, angry Adrian Peterson could be a big problem for NFL defenses. Monday night he will be out to shred the San Francisco 49ers and, in the process, send a message to the rest of the league.

Next: Stefon Diggs saves Cordarrelle Patterson

More from The Viking Age