Adrian Peterson started training camp with a light load after he “tweaked himself” in the offseason.
The Minnesota Vikings running back took some snaps in the team’s opening practice but none in full-team work.
“He tweaked himself a little bit in the offseason,” head coach Mike Zimmer told KFAN Radio after Friday’s opening practice. “He’s going to be fine. He did the conditioning test today and we’re just being careful with him.”
Peterson did some extra work during practice on a side field with head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman, then returned to practice with the rest of the team, although his workload was very light.
The Vikings are trying to gain a balance of using Peterson in the shotgun and with the quarterback under center, a process that was played out in 2015, Peterson’s first full season in Norv Turner’s offense.
“I think Adrian felt a little bit more comfortable in the shotgun, but we’re not a shotgun team. We’re not really a zone read, where the quarterback is going to keep the ball. I want us to have good play-action and you can do both,” Zimmer said on KFAN. “When you line up the back on one side and he’s always running across the formation or inside zone, it kind of makes things a little simpler for the defense. If you’re in the pistol or you’re in the (I-formation), they can go all the different ways, plus your play-action is good. I think there is marriage there.”
While Peterson’s slow immersion in training camp practices was likely expected by the coaching and training staff, receiver Cordarrelle Patterson left practice after making a great catch and landing awkwardly on his left shoulder.
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About halfway through practice Patterson was sprinting down the left sideline and made a 45-yard reception from Shaun Hill over cornerback Jabari Price. Patterson hung onto the ball, but immediately started groaning after he landed on the ground. He was assisted off the field without moving his left arm much, keeping it tight to his body.
“He made a great catch and it wasn’t his left hand or wrist. I can tell you that,” Zimmer said, shooting down early speculation by some. “I don’t think it’s real concerning, but they’re taking a look at it.”
Patterson went to the trainer’s tent, then walked across the street to the locker room and didn’t return to practice.