Adrian Peterson 'itching' to play in preseason, gets his wish Sunday
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- If the decision were left up to Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the reigning NFL MVP would have played in the second preseason game at Buffalo Bills and would play the entire first half against the San Francsico 49ers.
Since it's not up to Peterson, he will likely play a couple of series for his first preseason action since Aug. 27, 2011 when the Vikings travel to San Francisco to play on Sunday.
"I've been in Coach [Leslie] Frazier's ear trying to get in the first two games as well," Peterson said after Monday's practice. "I've been here seven years, I know how it goes. I try not to harp on [Frazier] too much. It don't stop me completely, though."
"I think I convinced him this week."
Peterson didn't see a single snap in last year's preseason as he rehabbed from surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL, but still dominated the league with a 2,097-yard season (second-highest in NFL history).
With fullback Jerome Felton (appendectomy) sidelined until the regular season, Peterson will likely start behind fullback/tight-end hybrid Rhett Ellison should the Vikings not begin in a two tight end set, which is when they typically pull the fullback.
In his seventh year, many would think Peterson wouldn't want to play -- just like some established veterans who don't want to in the preseason.
"When you sit back and you watch two games, the second game you start itching for it," Peterson said. "That's what I do. I know a lot of guys shy away from it, but I'm all about competing and getting better with my team."
Much talk has circled around whether or not Peterson should play on Sunday considering his history of not needing any preseason carries.
But with the way quarterback Christian Ponder and the Vikings offense has struggled in two games -- one of six drives includes a first down -- it's a fair question to wonder if part of the problem is Peterson's absence.
"I wouldn't say that," Peterson said. "You still have to execute whatever defensive look they throw at you. To say a team don't see me back there and go: 'you know what, we're going to add two extra guys in the box to put pressure on the quarterback.' I'd be lying to you if I said that doesn't happen, doesn't change things up a bit."