Adrian Peterson unsure if he'll play vs. Packers on Saturday

ByBen Goessling ESPN logo
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson did not practice Wednesday, three days after he returned from a torn meniscus to play against the Indianapolis Colts. And although Peterson said he wants to play on Saturday against the Green Bay Packers, he didn't say whether he actually will.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time," he said. "Resting up. I came out with a couple of nicks. Just taking it one day at a time and see how I feel. We'll address it when the time comes."

Peterson said he took Wednesday to rest and rehab after carrying six times for 22 yards in the Vikings' 34-6 loss to the Colts. Coach Mike Zimmer said Peterson was "probably not quite" 100 percent on Sunday, and Peterson played only 12 plays in the game -- his first since Sept. 18.

After the game, Peterson said he had felt good enough to be on the field and that he planned to play Saturday at Lambeau Field.

When asked the same question Wednesday, Peterson remained steadfast in his desire to play.

"Yeah," Peterson said. "I'm focusing on making sure my body is completely healthy, and trying to get back out there as soon as possible."

Zimmer said Peterson was "still catching up" with some of the Vikings' changes on offense. Pat Shurmur replaced Norv Turner as offensive coordinator while Peterson was out.

"You're not going to catch everything in three months [of not being in meetings]," Zimmer said.

The Vikings (7-7) are mathematically alive in the NFC wild-card race, though they'd need to win their final two games and get plenty of help from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins. Peterson said earlier this month it would be "pointless" for him to play if the Vikings weren't in the playoff race.

Peterson, who will turn 32 in March, has run for 72 yards on 37 carries this season. He has a team option for 2017 that would pay him a $6 million roster bonus on the third day of the league year if the Vikings pick it up. He would earn an $11.75 million base salary and carry an $18 million cap hit, counting a $250,000 workout bonus.

He would not discuss his contract for next season, saying he was focused on getting healthy. But he said he did not feel he needed to prove anything to the Vikings.

"I've been here for 10 years and I think I've done some OK things," said Peterson, the NFL's MVP in 2012 and the Vikings' career rushing leader. "So I don't know. You'd have to ask the other side that question. But, for me, I really don't feel like I have anything to prove. I've been here 10 years."

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