Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson injured his thigh on a carry early in Tuesday’s fully padded practice, but he told teammates he was fine.
Peterson appeared to get bent over awkwardly at the line of scrimmage and limped off the field and towards trainers after it happened. The injury, which appears to have happened to his right leg, seemed slight as Peterson retook the field on another play.
However, Peterson then left the field and went to the locker room with head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman. The athletic trainer returned to the field about 10 minutes later, indicating that the injury may not be serious and that appears to be the case.
Peterson didn’t return to practice, but players seemed to believe it was nothing serious.
“He just got tangled up and the defender fell on him, but he said he was alright. Everybody knows Adrian’s got a cape on so he’ll be back out here tomorrow,” backup running back Jerick McKinnon said.
McKinnon admitted he didn’t know the details but said, “I don’t think nobody is worried about it.”
Other player reactions were similar, but the importance of Peterson is obvious. He is the team’s highest paid player, scheduled to make $13 million this season and he is easily the team’s all-time leading rusher.
“It’s practice. He got up. He hopped up, so that’s the big thing. If he had stayed on the ground, we would have been worried. He hopped up. It happens. It’s football,” defensive end Everson Griffen said.
“Football is 100 percent injury rate – you’re going to be dealing with something no matter what. The biggest thing is keep him safe because he’s a G.O.A.T. [Greatest Of All-Time]. He’s one of the best running backs that I’ve seen play ever. Keep him safe and hopefully everything works out.”
Peterson didn’t play in the preseason opener Sunday night, the only healthy Viking afforded that status, but Peterson hasn’t played in a preseason game since 2011 and he wasn’t expected to play this preseason, either, in an attempt to keep him fresh and healthy for the start of the regular season.
Linval Joseph was on the field was on the field when Peterson was injured early in 11-on-11 work.
“It was kind of sad because a lot of things happened, a lot of bodies came together. I’m glad he’s OK and now we just have to wait until Game 1 to get him on the field to take some live bullets,” Joseph said.
“I don’t think it’s nothing serious because he went back out there, he took some more reps and he said he’s fine.”
Head coach Mike Zimmer held his press conference before practice and didn’t address reporters following the afternoon practice, but indications are that the injury isn’t serious.
Defensive end Brian Robison, who was a fourth-round pick in 2007, when Peterson was the Vikings’ first-round pick, has played his entire career with Peterson.
“You never want to see that, especially out of your star player, but we’ll see how it goes,” Robison said. “I’m sure he’ll be fine and we’ll just keep moving forward.”