The Minnesota Vikings and, more specifically, head coach Leslie Frazier have been very adamant that Adrian Peterson's return to practice is nothing more than a step in the running back's rehab process. They've been quick to quell suggestions that the practice appearances mean Peterson is sure to return in time for the start of the regular season, and have stuck with the line that he is simply ready to start working on some drills that he is required to complete in order to come off the physically unable to perform list.
Still, Peterson returning this early is not the norm. It's been a little over seven months since his surgery to repair torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee -- players usually don't even think about returning from such surgery until eight months after going under the knife, and most don't make it back to these kinds of drills closer to nine months.
But according to ESPN Twin Cities, Frazier isn't surprised one bit:
"Maybe if it was someone else," Frazier said. "But with Adrian, he's unique and he's always been that way in the time that I've known him in his career. He's special in so many ways and we all know the severity of the injury and what's required to come back.
While Peterson's return is a promising development that has made many feel like Peterson will be back in time for the regular season, Frazier speaks the truth -- tearing both your ACL and MCL is one of the most severe injuries in football from which a player can actually return. Peterson may be healing faster than any player in recent memory, but if he's not 100 percent in time for Week 1, then the Vikings shouldn't push him into playing.
That being said, it doesn't sound like Minnesota would do that. Other quotes from the piece continue with the warnings about the severity of Peterson's injury, with Frazier saying that he hasn't put a timetable on Peterson's return yet and that it will all likely go down to the wire.