Adrian Peterson activated from PUP list, expected to practice Tuesday
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MANKATO, Minn. -- Adrian Peterson's stint on the active/physically unable to perform list came to an end Sunday, but when the running back will play in a game remains uncertain.
Peterson, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his left knee on Dec. 24 at Washington and had surgery six days later, was on the field for walkthrough on Sunday morning inside Myers Fieldhouse on the Minnesota State campus.
Coach Leslie Frazier said activating Peterson from the PUP was just part of the process for getting him back. By rule, Peterson can't take part in a padded practice until Tuesday, and it's expected his workload will be highly limited in the early going.
"I want to caution you," Frazier said. "I know there are fans that are very optimistic and excited about seeing him back. But for us, it's just a part of the process. It doesn't mean a whole lot other than he's done a great job in his rehab up to this point, off to the side, with our strength coaches, with (athletic trainer) Eric Sugarman and his staff.
"Our medical staff explained to myself and (general manager) Rick Spielman that the next step for him in the process would be to get integrated with his teammates and that's just what it means. He's done everything he can do on the side and now it's the next step in the process.
"It doesn't mean in the future he's going to be lining up with our team in the opening game. We don't know that. We have a long time to determine that. This is just another step in the process."
Frazier does not want Peterson tackled to the ground until he plays in an actual game.
"I don't think there will be a time when we say, 'It's live on Adrian,'" Frazier said. "It wasn't that way before and you don't want him going to the ground in practice. But the first time he'll go to the ground, if I have anything to say about it, will be in a game situation. We're not going to take him to the ground in practice."
Asked about a potential plan to get Peterson into a preseason game, Frazier said: "We'll see how he progresses. Once we get to the point where he's out of this acclimation period -- where we have two days where he really can't wear pads (by CBA rules) -- daily we'll gauge where he is and if it looks like that's the next step we'd want to do it.
"If we could get him in a game and let him get a little bit of a taste of NFL action in a live situation that would be good. But we'll see."
The most important preseason game for most teams is the third one because it's when the starters play the longest. Most teams rest their starters in the fourth exhibition.
But Frazier made no promises the Vikings will play Peterson in their third preseason game on Aug. 24 against San Diego at the Metrodome.
"This is a unique situation so there's no article of war that says we can't play our starters in the fourth game," Frazier said. "That's our decision so we'll see how things are going."
Peterson, who was scheduled to address the media following the afternoon practice Sunday, can go through walkthrough and individual drills on Sunday and Monday.
Peterson's first activity with the Vikings since suffering the knee injury came during the walkthrough that was forced indoors because of rain in Mankato. Peterson worked with the first team -- as did running back Toby Gerhart -- and took a few handoffs from Christian Ponder.
The purpose of the walkthrough is to go over game situations at a slow pace, so taking the handoff was the most work he did. Sunday's practice was the Vikings' first since they opened the preseason on Friday night with a 17-6 loss at San Francisco.
Frazier talked to Peterson on Sunday morning about the decision to bring him off the PUP. Peterson isn't exactly known for his patience and after an offseason of rehab work the Pro Bowl back made it clear upon his arrival in Mankato that he would fight the decision to start camp on the PUP.
"I told him, 'Now is your chance to say, coach, I was wrong, I don't think I was ready,'" Frazier said, laughing. "He said, 'I'm not saying that. I'm ready, I can't wait to get out there.' He's pretty excited."
Frazier said that Peterson could be a, "good politician," when asked about Peterson's lobbying efforts to be activated. "But it wasn't his lobbying that got us to this point, it was his work, the things that he's done up to this point in his rehab," Frazier said. "You have to credit him with the hard work he's put in."
Frazier also confirmed that nose tackle Letroy Guion suffered an injury to the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against the 49ers and should miss, "maybe a week." Frazier is hoping Guion can return to play in the third preseason game against San Diego on Aug. 24 at the Metrodome.