On Thursday, he detailed a hit that had him particularly concerned.
According to Peterson's recollection, the play happened late in the third quarter on third down, just before a play many fans will remember well. On fourth-and-1, the Vikings attempted a pass to Peterson that Derrick Brooks defended to turn the ball over to the Tampa Bay on downs.
The play before that, however, has Peterson questioning whether a defender – he didn't remember his name but said his number was "in the 50s" – took a run at his knee in an effort to take him out of the game.
"I was being stood up by like three or four defenders and the guy just came out of nowhere, outside of the screen, and intentionally went for my leg," Peterson said. "I felt that and I watched it over and over again – intentionally went for my leg to try to take me out.
"By the grace of God, my foot wasn't stuck in the grass and it was able to give. I looked at that play and really started thinking that, hey, whether you believe it or not, guys are out there trying to take you out so you've got to be smarter and protect yourself."
He said he felt the blow during the play but didn't think much of it … until the coaches pointed it out to him on film.
"I remember that play. I just remember being stood up and the whistle was about to blow and I wasn't going anywhere – my forward progress was stopped. Someone just came in," Peterson said. "At the time, I didn't know it was intentionally done until I watched the film and seen the guy come out of nowhere, dive straight for my knee and then get up flexing, like, you know, ‘Hey, I got him' or whatever it was."
Peterson said he didn't know if the league took action on the hit and said hopefully it won't happen again.
However, he said that hit helped enforce the point that he needs to be smarter with his running and learn when to go down to the ground.
"When I'm out there and fighting for yards, I can feel the pile moving. When I can't feel the pile moving anymore and my forward progress isn't going forward anymore or going backwards, then it would probably be in my best interest to go down," he said.
While Peterson didn't miss any apparent playing time because of the hit he took, it's possible defensive end Jared Allen could missed some time or be limited this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals after taking a hit on his knee in the Detroit game.
Allen didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday and he declined to reveal the extent of the damage in his knee, but he and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said they are hopeful he will play.
Frazier said it was a "vicious" hit that Allen took on his knee from Lions offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus, and it occurred in an area of the play where he probably wasn't expecting to be hit.
"He's a tough, tough guy. If anyone can make it, he can," Frazier said.
"The big emphasis in the league is player protection and I'm sure that's one that Ray Anderson and his staff will review (at the NFL). You hate to see a hit like that on any player. You're vulnerable. You're not anticipating anybody cutting you where Jared was blocked."
Allen said that between the shoulder sprain he suffered a month ago and his latest knee injury, it's the most health issues he's had in his career.
" It sucks. Something in the water around here. Right after I got my shoulder feeling better I got hit in the knee. Turf can do that to you I guess. It's all right," he said. "You persevere, you push through. My old man used to say that if it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger. I always say that if it doesn't kill you it hurts like hell."
OTHER PETERSON NOTES
Peterson is hoping to avoid the reputation of being a fumbler after he let the football get out his grasp three times Sunday in Detroit and had another one initially ruled a fumble before it was overturned. The fumble that was overturned upon replay was recovered by Detroit. All three of the fumbles that stood were either fumbled out of bounds or Peterson recovered himself.
"When you put on tape putting the ball on the turf, then teams are going to come in and focus on ripping the ball, having guys come in and rip the ball," he said. "Really it comes down to just having good ball security and protecting the ball all the way down."
Peterson admitted that he might have to be a big part of the game plan on Sunday in order to keep the Arizona Cardinals offense limited. "Our best defense could be our offense," he said. "Arizona, they do a great job of creating drives and moving the ball down the field. We're going to have to try to limit those opportunities."
Even Adrian Peterson is impressed sometimes by what he sees of himself on film. Asked if he ever watches film and wonders how he eluded a tackle, he said, "Actually, I do that all the time: Man, I don't know how I got out of this. I don't know how I got out of this. I don't know how I did that. But, hey, I'm going to see if I can keep doing it. There are some things that surprise me, myself. I just sit back and thank God for blessing me."
"These guys that are on our roster, the 53 guys, they're on there for a reason, so if it happened to get down to J.D., then J.D. would go in there and he would compete his butt off and he would give us the best that he has," said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. "I think he's prepared himself, and he's even had less reps than Tarvaris."
Neither Bevell nor Childress would officially rule out Gus Frerotte for Sunday's game, but all indications are that Jackson will get the start. "I'm not ruling him out of anything. He'll give me feedback as he goes, and he has," Childress said.