Adrian Peterson 'ready to play' as signs mount Vikings will let him
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Adrian Peterson repeatedly deferred to higher powers on his status for Sunday's opener against Jacksonville, but the Minnesota Vikings' star halfback made clear on Thursday he's seen no reason he shouldn't be on the field.
"I've got Coach Frazier, then I've got the owner -- that's a lot of people that's really calling the shots," said Peterson, who set the opener as his goal shortly after undergoing left knee reconstruction on Dec. 30.
"Only thing I can do is control my part and I've been doing that this week, continue to do that (Thursday) and before the game, I'm going to go out there and see what I can do, and hopefully, I get the nod. I want to play, obviously."
Peterson was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday's practice and is expected to play a small role if he plays at all against the Jaguars.
Signs he'll be active for the game are mounting, though, with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave telling reporters on Thursday he has "not too much doubt" Peterson will be ready and adding the staff has a set number of plays in mind.
"I haven't had any doubts," Peterson said. "That's not the way I'm programmed. That's not the way you accomplish things, to have doubts. That comes from people around you, and that is what it is. That comes with it. I've been all positive and keeping my eye focused in on what I said I want to accomplish."
The Vikings activated Peterson, 27, from the active/physically unable to perform list on Aug. 12. He sat out the entire preseason but took contact in practice for the first time last week and had his workload increased beginning in practice on Wednesday.
Musgrave said the Vikings are giving Peterson 25 to 35 reps each day in practice this week -- about the same as they're giving Toby Gerhart, who is expected to carry the load in the early going. Peterson said he has been "cutting with all my power, all my force" with no ill effects.
"None at all," Peterson said. "Only thing I've experienced is maybe some tightness in the patellar tendon. But just stretch that and it's back feeling good. No type of pain or discomfort in any way."
The Vikings' primary concern has been how Peterson will react in close quarters and whether he can protect himself. They eased restrictions on defenders in practice this week but still aren't tackling Peterson to the ground.
"I've felt pretty good," Peterson said. "But it's different when you've got guys coming in that's going to be tackling you and shooting at your legs. That's a different element. But I've been handling it pretty well so far, what I've been able to be a part of."
Asked if he's more scared of making a sharp cut or taking a hit on the knee, Peterson said, "Neither. Nothing."
Which is one more reason to believe Peterson will be in uniform on Sunday, even if someone else will make the final decision.
"I'm ready to play," Peterson said. "If that's 10 snaps, five, 25, 30, I'm ready to roll. That's my mindset and how I'm feeling about it. So, I'm just going to keep my mindset pointed in that direction."