It was Dec. 23, 2012. I was drinking a White Russian while opening Christmas presents with my family.
The whole day, my cousin-in-law Aaron (AKA Negative Nancy) was telling all of us how this game was meaningless and how Adrian Peterson shouldn’t be playing in it. While I won’t get into whether or not I agreed or not, just five minutes later, it happened.
Peterson went down after his left knee went limp. We all knew what had just happened and in the back of my mind, I thought, “he’s never going to be the same again. One of the best running backs of all-time is done.”
Aaron went on a profanity-filled rant, and rightfully so. We’ve seen players like Carson Palmer, Kevin Smith, Deuce McAllister, Ronnie Brown, Edgerrin James, Jamal Lewis and Terrell Davis attempt to return and never fully make it back.
And yes, I said Palmer. I know he is still playing, but face it. He stinks.
Well, after rushing for 2,097 yards this season, it’s safe to say that Peterson made it back, and might even be better than he was prior to the injury (scary thought).
Side-note: It’s funny how our minds automatically dismiss the players who have recovered from the ACL injury (Wes Welker, Willis McGahee). Instead of looking at those players, we see the glass half-empty and go the other way. Obviously tearing an ACL and MCL isn’t a good thing. That’s obvious, but it’s also not a death sentence. AP and Welker have proven that. Hopefully Robert Griffin III can do so as well.
We probably don’t have to go into great detail with Peterson in this article.
We know he’s the league’s best running back. If you think otherwise, I’m going to assume you’re using some sort of illegal drug or think we are talking about the other Adrian Peteron.
Peterson has been quoted saying he wants to rush for 2,500 yards after hitting the 2K mark last season, falling just nine yards short of Eric Dickerson’s rushing title.
I’m not sure if he can, but can we really doubt the dude right now?
Another side-note: If any coach ever allows Peterson to play special teams, I will stab him in the foot. Glad we established that.
I’m a little late on this, but hell of a season, Adrian. I’m fairly positive if I tore my ACL and PCL 11 months ago, I would be 230 pounds and playing World of Warcraft with Chris Kluwe.
What a disappointing season for Gerhart, and the worst part is, he really had no control over it.
Wait, never mind He fumbled 14 times in four plays against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter, nearly losing the game for the Vikings in Week 3. So yeah, I guess he did kind of screw things up.
The fact that he had a freak of nature ahead of him on the depth chart didn’t really help either.
With running backs becoming less and less valued in the NFL, there isn’t much room for a bruiser lacking speed. I’m not sure if there’s much of a future for Toby in Minnesota. Good thing the Vikings didn’t draft him in the second round or anything…
Asiata had 11 combined yards this season and he’s stuck between being a running back and full back; he has the size of a running back (5’11, 220), but the speed of a fullback (4.77). So yeah, I don’t see a career beyond the practice field anytime soon. Sorry, Mr. Asiata.
In related news, hee made $390,000 last season. I did not.
Yes, the fullback position does still exist, and Felton even made it to the Pro Bowl.
Now, we can look at this two different ways.
1.) Couldn’t anyone with a fraction of some sort of blocking skills block for Peterson? I mean, the guy is the best running back on the planet, right?
2.) Up until this season, Peterson has hated having a fullback block for him. Felton has to be doing something right if all of the sudden the fullback position is wanted in this offense.
Combining his Pro Bowl appearance and the outrageous season of the man he was blocking for, there’s no way Felton doesn’t make this squad next season. Unless he stops at McDonald’s intoxicated again. Then we might have some issues.
Next week, we’ll examine the receivers and tight-ends.
As always, thanks for reading. Enjoy your week.
You can follow Kyle on Twitter @Kyle_Ratke.