The contract dispute and drama are over. Adrian Peterson is back on the football field for the Minnesota Vikings, and the team’s plan for their star running back is to make him more useful in the passing game, something he hasn’t been involved with in past seasons.
Just how un involved was he? He has 208 career receptions with the Vikings, which comes to exactly two per game. At his highest passing game workload he caught 40 passes for 217 yards, during his MVP 2012 season. Peterson is getting older, which means you can’t keep sending him like a wave crashing on the rocks against seven or eight defenders waiting for him. And it seems he has a more competent quarterback to feed off of this time.
Peterson actually sounds excited about this change. He probably knows that after 2054 carries in his career, it’s time to change his game and make it possible for himself to play that extra seven or eight years he wants to be around for, hoping to break the all-time rushing record in the process. While Peterson has defied logic once or twice before by bouncing back from injuries, it’s hard beating father time and the regression seen in running backs as they get older.
With coach Norv Turner’s offense, there’s so much that he throws out there. So I’ll be more involved in the passing game; being out wide, presenting myself for a checkdown.
Peterson played just one game last season before his suspension kicked in. He won the MVP in 2012 after rushing for 2097 yards. He did have a massive dropoff in production the next year, but a lot of it had to do with the team’s offense being terrible apart from him. He rushed for 1266 yards on 279 carries, nearly 70 carries less than in 2012, which is still impressive. His workload won’t blow up to the 300’s ever again if the Vikings want to make the most of his time with the team.