Below is a transcript of Adrian Peterson's press conference on Wednesday in Norman.
On returning to practice and going through contact drills
Peterson: My body is feeling pretty good. It's been fun just getting back out there with the guys just getting back in my groove.
On if he's been 'popped' yet
Peterson: Actually, a couple guys are still kinda of timid to come up and hit me. So I've been hitting the ground a couple times just lowering my shoulder thinking I'm about to take on contact. But I got banged on a couple times.
On if he's definitely going to play in the bowl game
Peterson: Oh yeah, no doubt. No question, I will play.
On if he's over the injury enough to where he's able to trust his body when he's running
Peterson: That's one of the biggest things, so I keep my mind focused on what's in front of me and try not to think about the collarbone. I'm just going out there just practicing hard, running hard like normal and not thinking about it.
On if the fact that it was a fluke injury gives him confidence that he can return and run like he had in the past
Peterson: Yeah, I've been working real hard to get back on the field with the guys, and it's almost that time.
On people questioning why he should come back, and his desire to play in the bowl game
Peterson: I was playing the game since I was 7. A lot of guys want to speculate and say this and say that he's not coming back and all that. Why should he play? But I love the game. That's why I play. I love the game, love the guys that I play with. And the guys are excited for me to be back out there so I'm just ready to get back into the groove and get ready to play.
On if there was ever any doubt that he would come back and play
Peterson: No, there was no doubt. It was just all time — how long the process, getting checked up and checking on the collarbone. I got cleared so I'm ready to play.
On what is it about the game that makes him want to come back
Peterson: Just the team, just the passion that we all have for the game. Like I say, this is a game I love. I love it. If I could've played in the Big 12 Championship or the game before that and been cleared, I would've played. It's just the love I have for the game and just being out there with the guys.
On how hard it's been to watch from the sidelines
Peterson: It's been very difficult, but I've been cheering the team on, helping the running backs, seeing different things. Just passing the time that way made it a lot easier.
On if he thinks he would like to be a coach when he's done playing someday
Peterson: I don't know. It's something I'm thinking about in the future.
On his family's role during the process of him trying to come back
Peterson: My mom really just wanted the best for my safety. She didn't want me to go back out there and re-break the collarbone. The coaches said the same thing. Just basically getting that nod from the doctor that it's clear and the chances are very slim to re-break it, that's all we've been waiting for.
On if he's thinking about the rushing record
Peterson: Oh, no. I'm not thinking about it. It's crazy because of how everything happened breaking my collarbone. It was never anything I really thought about because I had eight more games to play, and it was only 150-something yards. Now that it presents itself, it will be nice to go out there and get the record.
On if the team is focusing the way it should for the bowl game
Peterson: Oh, yeah. Boise State is a good team. You can get beat any given Saturday, so we're preparing ourself to go out there and play a good game.
On Paul Thompson saying that he though you really want the rushing record
Peterson: It's just like I say, it's not something that I just sit there thinking about as my main focus. But hey, it's nice. It's something that comes along with playing the game. It's a record that has been standing for a long time. Like I say, it would be nice, real nice to break.
On if he'll be able to pace himself early in the game
Peterson: You know, you've got to keep things under control. You've got to stick to your bread and butter and things you've been doing. I know I'll be ready to get out on the field and play, but I know my focus and my job. I'll just go out there and take care of business and everything else will take care of itself.
On if it's for sure that he's going to leave early for the NFL, and when will he talk to coach Stoops
Peterson: Me and coach Stoops will set up a meeting to talk hopefully in a couple days. But I haven't came to a decision, as far as coming out. Like I say, I love the players, I love all the coaches and the guys I'm around. So I wouldn't mind at all coming back.
On if he's going to make the decision before the bowl game
Peterson: Oh, no. I'm focused (on the bowl game). Just far as talking with coach Stoops and everything (before the bowl game).
On what kind of people have been nagging him about his decision
Peterson: You can make it difficult on yourself if you want to. I sit there and I hear different things from family, friends, guys on the team. What it boils down to is it's my decision and what I feel like is best for me. I really don't want to let anyone outside influence my decision, because I know I'm going to have to live with it.
On if he's become a distraction to the team because Stoops said 'we can do fine without him'
[Stoops interjects: I didn't say we 'could', I would said we 'have' done.]
Peterson: I don't think I'm a distraction. It's crazy because, like the Big 12 Championship, I talked to some of the running backs and said I really don't need to play. Y'all guys have been handling everything. The guys have stepped up to play and have been taking care of business.
On his teammates wanting him to come back
Peterson: It makes me feel good. Being out eight weeks is very difficult. The guys stuck by me, always encouraging me. Just keeping me up. Like I say, it's a family. We all love each other and care about it each, so we all want the best.
On if he's talked to any of the former Oklahoma juniors who have left early about what it's like in the NFL
Peterson: Yeah, Clint Ingram and Brodney Pool. I talk to those guys every now and then. I ask how it is on the next level and basically they say the speed of the game, and just (give) different little pointers.
On what advice they've given him
Peterson: In the league, everybody's fast. Everybody likes to hit. As far as running over everybody, that's not going to happen. Running backs gotta run to daylight. Basically, little points like keeping my shoulders low. Lowering my shoulders is one thing Clint told me. Just random stuff.
On if the decision is a dollars and cents thing or is it what's in his heart
Peterson: It's business on the next level. It is a lot to try to balance. Thinking about getting injured and thinking about the money side and all that. It's all a process. It can get kinda hectic, but you've got to get through it.
On if he's changed his running style to not try and look for more contact
Peterson: Yeah, I look and see Earl Campbell and see him barely walking around just taking all the hits. He could've saved his body, so it's just being smarter and not taking on unecessary hits and protecting your body.
Peterson: "No question, I will play"
Sooners Illustrated Top Stories
SoonerSquad17 rankings show OU's resurgenceThe final Scout 300 has been released, and that's great news for OU fans.
Sooners Illustrated12:13 PM
OU Target 10: Week 2It's Wednesday in January so it's time for next installment of the OU Target 10.
Sooners Illustrated9:40 AM
Video: Trae Young talks McDonald's AA honorFive-star point guard Trae Young gives an update on his recruitment and talks about being named a McDonald's All-American.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 7:56 PM
SoonerSquad17 mid-year enrollees are at OUThe day has arrived. Twelve members of OU's 2017 class are now officially in Norman.
Sooners IllustratedYesterday at 9:48 AM
OU recruiting chaos (Week 2)Stay updated with everything going on with OU and recruiting down the stretch toward signing day.
Sooners IllustratedMonday at 9:37 AM