Immediately after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson went down with dual ACL and MCL injuries, folks were questioning whether or not he would be able to return in time for the start of the 2012 NFL season. As the preseason approached, we heard more and more optimistic views, but the past few days have seen reports that Peterson may not be ready for the start of the regular season.
Regardless, Peterson was activated from the physically unable to perform list and returned to practice. He still has to wait before he dons full pads and can start making physical contact with other players, but all accounts have Peterson attacking his drills with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind (to steal a line from Jim Harbaugh, coach of the San Francisco 49ers).
Josh Katzowitz of CBS Sports had a quote from Peterson after he returned to practice:
"I was like a kid in a candy store today," Peterson said. "When I came out here and they threw me in with the first group. I was smiling. I had to try to calm myself down. I was going a little too fast for a walkthrough in the beginning. For me, this is so satisfying. I had a lot of people doubting me and saying this and saying that. But I kept my faith and kept working hard. Now, I'm back in the mix."
Good thing Peterson acknowledges that he needs to calm himself down. The last thing Minnesota needs is Peterson to aggravate his injury and miss significant time. The timetable is still point toward Peterson coming back on or near week one, but the Vikings really should play it safe if it's really pushing it. Seeing him in week two as opposed to week one wouldn't be the end of the world, and it might help the team further see what they've got in quarterback Christian Ponder.
Peterson can don full pads on Tuesday, but it's unlikely he receives anything near a full physical workload, as his return to training camp is less about him being ready and more about him having more ways for him to workout and rehab under the collective bargaining agreement.
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