Adrian Peterson suspension
When Mike Zimmer joined the Vikings as head coach in 2014, one big positive was his running back. He was going to have Adrian Peterson carrying the ball for his offense, who at the time was one of the most explosive backs in the NFL.
Peterson was coming off a 2013 season where he ran for 1,255 yards and 10 touchdowns. Zimmer surely envisioned his offense going through Peterson and he was planning on riding his new workhorse back hard during his first year as Minnesota’s head coach.
Zimmer never got that chance. News broke shortly after the Vikings’ first game of the season that the running back was being charged with reckless or negligent injury to a child due to his decision to strike his 4-year-old son with a switch.
Peterson was able to get a plea deal and received a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless assault. Due to a suspension and being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, the running back only ended up appearing in one game for Minnesota in 2014.
This unexpected incident was definitely a set back to Zimmer and the plan he had for his offense. Instead of having one of the best backs in the league at their disposal, the Vikings were forced to use a combination of Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon in their backfield.
Peterson’s absence was definitely a setback, but Minnesota still managed to finish 7-9 in 2014 despite the major hiccup and distraction that was their running back’s suspension.