Adrian Peterson will 'fight' against going on PUP list to open camp
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MANKATO, Minn. - All indications are that Adrian Peterson will open training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, but the Minnesota Vikings star running back admitted Thursday he is hoping to convince the team to not put him on that list.
"It's going to be their call," Peterson said after arriving at Gage towers on the Minnesota State University campus. "We're going to discuss that (Thursday night). My main focus is just getting out there and trying to get myself ready. I'm going to be honest with you, I'm going to try and fight against (being on the PUP) so I can get out there and be involved. But ultimately, I know these guys will do what's best for the team."
Peterson, 27, is recovering from surgery after tearing the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee on Dec. 24 against Washington.
The Vikings and Peterson have said their goal is to have him on the field for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against Jacksonville. But he's less than seven months removed from reconstruction surgery, and placing him on active/PUP gives the Vikings flexibility in case he has a setback.
Players on active/PUP can be activated at any time. Once a player is activated, he's ineligible for reserve/PUP, which sidelines him for at least six weeks.
Coach Leslie Frazier confirmed he would discuss the situation with Peterson on Thursday evening. "(I) just want to get a better feel for where he is physically after I talk with our trainers and our doctors," Frazier said. "After they take a look at him today, we'll talk about what the best plan for him (will be)."
Peterson, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in his first four seasons before finishing last year with 970 yards in 12 games, has been extremely aggressive in his rehab and the Vikings might be tempted to keep him on the PUP list early on to stop him for trying to rush things.
Players on the PUP can work off to the side with trainers but can't participate in practice.
Peterson expressed optimism about the knee on Thursday, saying it feels great and that he is full go.
"I've been working hard for this moment, to get back out here and get the ball back rolling," Peterson said. "I'm excited to be back where I'm at now and the leg is feeling great. ... I'm pretty much doing everything. Cutting, running, jumping.
"It's kind of different when you put pads on and you've got guys diving at your legs and you're making these sudden cuts and it's based off instincts, the instincts of the game. That aspect I really haven't had a lot to practice with so that's really what I want to get a feel of, to get out there and get involved in that."
Peterson admitted he has not absorbed contact on the knee yet, and even if he didn't start camp on the PUP there is no way the Vikings would put him in a position to take any contact early in camp.
Coming back from the knee injury isn't the only issue Peterson has been dealing with of late.
He also has an Aug. 6 court date in Houston after being charged with a misdemeanor stemming from a July 7 incident at a nightclub in that city. Peterson was charged with resisting arrest after a confrontation with an off-duty police officer briefly landed him in jail. The officer was working security at the establishment.
The Harris County District Attorney's office continues to gather information on what happened. The police said Peterson shoved the officer after the officer had asked Peterson and his friends to leave the club. Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, disputes that account.
In fact, Hardin said Peterson was hit in the face by police at least twice "for absolutely no legitimate reason."
Peterson acknowledged Thursday he might have to return to Houston for the court date, adding, "it's something that I'm going to let my attorney handle. ... Hopefully it'll get dismissed."
Peterson repeated what he said outside the Houston courtroom on July 13, stating that he is "200 percent" confident that he is innocent. "Wrong is wrong and right is right," he said. "I did nothing wrong in this situation and ultimately that will be shown."
Peterson, who said he was far more worried about his face than his knee as the confrontation unfolded, added that he has not lost any sleep over what happened.
"It's been pretty laid back to be honest," he said. "The situation is what it is. ... I know in due time things will get handled and justice will be served. It was just an unfortunate situation, but I feel like everything will work itself out."
Entering his sixth season, Peterson admitted he was excited to get back to Mankato to begin a new season after the Vikings went 3-13 in 2011 and he suffered such a devastating injury.
"I've kind of been anticipating getting here," Peterson said. "I didn't feel it until I got up here. When you have an injury like this with the ACL and especially at my position, you've got so many people saying this, so many people saying that. Just challenges that you have with yourself.
"You think about I'm going to come back better than people were saying and better than ever. Coming here feels good, just to be around the guys and around everyone who's been supporting me through this process. Even more importantly, it's going to feel good to get out there and participate and do some things with these guys. So I'm just excited to be here and excited to get things going."
Dean Berhow-Goll Dean contributed