Adrian Peterson 'without a doubt' sees himself in Hall of Fame
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MANKATO, Minn. -- One legendary Minnesota Vikings player, receiver Cris Carter, will be officially inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
Another legend-in-the-making sees it in his future.
"Without a doubt," running back Adrian Peterson said about being inducted one day. "I feel my mindset being set on being the best player to ever play. The Hall of Fame has to come with that. It's something I don't think about...I feel like it'll happen with the mindset and what I'm trying to accomplish."
The NFL's reigning MVP currently ranks second in career rushing yards for active players (8,849), behind Atlanta Falcons' running back Steven Jackson (10,135), but Peterson's sights are set much higher.
Everyone's heard about Peterson's 2,500 yard prediction for this season, but when he told the Star Tribune's Dan Wiederer he would break Hall of Fame running back Emmit Smith's all-time mark for career yardage (18,355) in 2017 -- he set the bar around 2,000 yards per season for the next five years.
Peterson is currently 33rd on the all-time rushing list he's trying to climb to the top of and as 1500 ESPN's Phil Mackey pointed out in a recent column, no running back in NFL history has ran for consecutive 2,000 yard seasons, let alone five in a row.
But no running back has ever come off an ACL tear to rush for the same mark.
"When Adrian says 2,500 or 2,000, it's a different thing. It's a different matter [than other players]. Because he's more than capable of achieving those goals," coach Leslie Frazier said. "I've learned that. When he told me last season that he was going to have the type of year that he did have and for it to turn out the way it did, I don't doubt Adrian Peterson. If he says he can gain 2,500 yards, it's possible."
Peterson and his teammates won't be able to watch the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony as the Vikings hold their annual scrimmage at Blakeslee Stadium on Saturday night.
Defensive coordinator Alan Williams said it will be "thud" only, meaning no players will be tackled to the ground. Peterson said he doesn't envision too many reps at all in the preseason, but is open to whatever the coaches ask him to do.
"Based off last year, I don't need contact in the preseason," Peterson said. "But to me, either way, if they want me to get a little in the third, fourth game, I'll do it. At this point, in my seventh year, I've worked extremely hard. It's not hard for me to flip it on for full contact."