Now that things are back to normal for the Minnesota Vikings, it seems their plans for Adrian Peterson remain as they have always been: Give him as many touches as possible, and hope that he doesn’t break down.
Peterson, 30, has never led the NFL in touches. He has led the league in rushing three times, including his historic, MVP 2012 season, in which he rushed for 2097 yards (131.1 per game). He followed that up with a still very good but a much more human-like 1266 yards season. Last year he didn’t play besides the season opener.
Peterson will get as much as he can take, and as much as he can handle in all the things that we’re doing.
Mike Zimmer, the Vikings’ head coach, isn’t going to be taking it slow with an aging running back who hasn’t played for almost a year. The Vikings do have a quarterback they feel like can turn into something special, but Teddy Bridgewater is young, only entering his second season.
Peterson is the perfect combination for a team that wants to run the ball, and a lot. He isn’t going to be better than before, playing at an age that a lot of other quarterbacks have already been thrown out of the league at. There’s no need to save him and protect him from getting too many touches. It’s now or never for Peterson and the Vikings.
Whether or not this plan works and results in making the playoffs remains to be seen. But history and statistics are against Peterson and the Vikings making the most out of this renewed relationship, and driving him too hard might mean it’ll be his last productive season in the league. Unless he plans on shocking everyone again, like he did in 2012.