'Of course' Adrian Peterson wants to run over safety who injured knee
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Safety DeJon Gomes was the Washington Redskins defender who blew out Adrian Peterson's left knee with a direct hit on Dec. 24.
With the Minnesota Vikings returning to FedEx Field on Sunday, would Peterson like to exact a little revenge by running over Gomes?
"Of course, of course," Peterson said, smiling in the Vikings' locker room on Thursday. "I'll make sure I have my shoulders low. He might be trying to go for the ankles. But I'm just going to go out and play ball, have fun."
It has been roughly 9½ months since that hit cast Peterson's immediate future into doubt, his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments torn, surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation process ahead.
Peterson recalled on Thursday he was "99.9" percent certain he had an ACL injury the moment Gomes made a direct hit on the knee and Peterson crumpled to the turf.
"I felt three pops," said Peterson, who underwent reconstructive surgery six days later, "and just the way my leg bent, I knew it was messed up pretty bad."
Peterson reached his goal of returning for the Vikings' opener this season, though, and has taken a remarkably heavy workload -- 96 carries for 420 yards (4.4 average) and two touchdowns, plus 13 catches for 79 yards in five games.
He suffered what coach Leslie Frazier has termed a "mild" left ankle sprain on his first carry in last weekend's win over Tennessee but nonetheless finished with 103 yards on 20 touches, including a 34-yard run that was his longest this season.
"I got it twisted up pretty bad," Peterson said. "Just trying to get some rest on it, man, let it recover, try to get the strength back. Really didn't experience much swelling. But I feel like I'm taking steps forward."
Peterson didn't practice on Wednesday and acknowledged he's still undergoing treatment to try to remove some soreness in the ankle. But he said there's no doubt in his mind he'll be ready to play on Sunday.
"I wouldn't call (the ankle) a concern, but it's something I want to definitely get back to feeling good," Peterson said. "I don't think it's going to hinder me from being able to play and push through. I've pushed through worse ankle injuries than the one I have."
Gomes started five games for the Redskins as a rookie last season and returned to the lineup for the first three games this season as a replacement for injured starter Brandon Meriweather (knee). He has come off the bench the past two weeks.
Peterson said he never heard from any Washington defenders after he was injured there but downplayed the revenge angle, saying he thinks about it "(m)aybe a little bit. But nothing that's just overwhelming, that it's really that personal."
He still doesn't like watching tape of the play that left him screaming on the ground in pain. And he knows there may be some emotions when he takes the field on Sunday.
"Of course, it pops in your mind," Peterson said. "But outside of that, man, just focusing on executing as an offense, as a whole, all three phases and coming out with a win."