After wait, Peterson ‘itching' to play

Adrian Peterson said the number of carries he gets Sunday night doesn't matter, but he would like to play about a half.

Adrian Peterson is tired of watching on the sidelines. The star running back is ready for his first preseason action and "itching" to play in Sunday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers.

"When you sit back and you watch two games and you see your guys, the ones and twos, really get into the rotation in that second game, you start itching for it," Peterson said. "What I do, I know a lot of guys shy away from it, but I'm all about competing and getting better with my team."

The starters for the Minnesota Vikings are expected to play into the third quarter, according to head coach Leslie Frazier. But Frazier also said he doesn't expect Peterson to play that long.

Peterson said he would optimally play "about a half." He went the entire 2012 preseason without playing a snap as he recovered from surgery to repair the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his knee. He returned at the start of the regular season and rushed for 2,097 yards.

"I don't think it's necessarily that I just need (preseason action), but it's just being out there as an offensive unit, not having any missing pieces," he said. "Whether it's a quarter or two quarters, just getting in that timing live, there's no way to emulate that. That's the part that I like."

Last Friday, Peterson suited up and went through warm-ups in an attempt to work his way onto the field, even if he knew his ploy wouldn't be successful.

"I don't feel like I've got to prove anything to anyone. It's all about the competitor in me trying to go out there and play. When I went through the warm-ups, I pretty much knew I wasn't playing," he said. "But when I went through the warmups, I was like, ‘Hey, coach, you've got to get me in a series or two.' He's like, ‘No, no, no.' You know how he talks. I don't like continuing to harp on him. I'm a vet now, so I know how things go. I'll be ready to roll either way, whether I play or not, when that opener rolls around.

"I try not to harp on him too much because I know he's got a lot going on and I know the decision that he makes, it's going to be for the better of the team. I know that seven years in. It doesn't stop me completely from going to him and saying, ‘Hey, coach, I want to get in. I want to get a couple snaps.' So I think I convinced him this week."

Peterson said it doesn't matter to him how many carries he gets against the 49ers.

"I just want to get in and play a little bit and just knock the rust off a little bit," he said.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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