The biggest takeaway from Minnesota’s 38-25 loss to Green Bay is that Adrian Peterson is no longer a team player.
Entering Green Bay at 7-7 and with a prayer to make the playoffs, the Minnesota Vikings really needed Adrian Peterson. Given everything that has gone wrong this season, I actually can’t think of a time the Vikings needed “All Day” more than Saturday.
He didn’t show up. All the media surrounding the Vikings’ plane fiasco and absolutely no sign of Minnesota’s running back in Green Bay. He wasn’t on the sideline for Saturday’s game or even in a luxury box.
So where was Adrian Peterson?
Back in Minnesota, a social media blitz suggested Peterson spent some time shopping this afternoon and eventually headed off to church. It’s not uncommon for injured players to remain at team headquarters during road games, but there’s no indication Peterson was held back for any reason. It actually seems AD took it upon himself and was permitted to remain in Minnesota on Christmas Eve.
If the Twitter accounts of Peterson’s itinerary are accurate, then he didn’t even watch the Vikings vs Packers game.
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Peterson came from nowhere a couple of weeks ago to announce he’d return from meniscus surgery in time to play against the Packers. His return to practice reportedly energized teammates that were in desperate need of a pick-me-up. “All Day” suited up for Week 15 and received a hero’s welcome from the home crowd at US Bank Stadium. He was going to be the guy to salvage the remainder of the season. Peterson was the one piece the makeshift Vikings’ offense needed to move the ball again.
It was all a farce…and we should’ve seen it coming.
Initial reports of Peterson’s return indicated he would do so if the Vikings were heading for the playoffs. He literally told one reporter that he wouldn’t return to action if Minnesota was eliminated. Peterson seemed to backtrack on his statement when he put the pads back on. His tune changed yet again after his six carry, 22-yard day vs Indianapolis.
I’m not sure what made AD think running behind the current offensive line would be easy.
The harsh reality is that Adrian Peterson is now playing by his own set of rules. Instead playing because he’s healthy and paid to, Peterson will only suit up if he’s guaranteed a shot at playoff glory. It’s also clear the remains of the 2016 Minnesota Vikings aren’t good enough for him.
The thought of cutting Adrian Peterson was once unheard of. Now, it seems likely the Vikings cut the 31-year old before he’s due a $6M roster bonus in March. For some of us, March can’t come soon enough.