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Updated: December 24th, 2011 1:45pm
Adrian Peterson on injured knee: 'I just knew it was something bad'

Adrian Peterson on injured knee: 'I just knew it was something bad'

by Tom Pelissero
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LANDOVER, Md. -- The Minnesota Vikings' lost season may have gotten a whole lot worse on Saturday.

Adrian Peterson suffered a gruesome and apparently significant left knee injury in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins.

The All-Pro halfback was scheduled to undergo an MRI late Saturday night to determine the extent of the damage and admitted after the game he wasn't optimistic.

"You take a blow to the knee like that, you're concerned about the ACL and the MCL -- those ligaments mainly," Peterson said, balancing himself on crutches with a wrap on the knee in the locker room.

"I don't know. Just trying to stay as positive as I can and I'll just find out more once" the MRI results are in.

An NFL source said the MRI confirmed a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament.

Coach Leslie Frazier initially termed the injury a sprain, pending further tests, but players who saw it happen knew it was worse.

"I had to say a prayer as soon as I seen his leg twisted," tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. "Ugh. You don't want to lose a guy of that caliber, period, let alone at the end of the season. I pray that his rehab and his recovery is speedy and efficient, effective and we'll see what happens."

Peterson twitched on the ground after taking a direct shot to the side of his knee from Redskins safety DeJon Gomes on the first play of the second half. His left leg, planted in the turf on contact, remained bent awkwardly behind him as team doctors and athletic trainers ran onto the field.

"Oh Lord," Peterson said, recalling his initial reaction. "I just knew it was something bad."

Peterson received attention for several minutes on the field and then was helped off slowly, unable to put any pressure on the leg. Players from both teams came over to offer support as Peterson shook his head.

"it was very severe, the pain was," Peterson said. "Once it kind of eased up, I was able to kind of roll around and kind of grasp what just took place."

Signed to a seven-year, $100 million contract extension in September that included $36 million in guarantees, Peterson missed three games after suffering a high ankle sprain on Nov. 20 against Oakland. But he never had suffered a major injury in his five NFL seasons. 

Peterson returned to action in last week's game against New Orleans and carried only 10 times. He had 12 carries for 38 yards (3.2 average) on Saturday before departing.

Asked if he regrets playing, "No, not at all. I felt like I was healthy enough to go and be productive. As you guys see in the first half, I was being productive. I felt good coming out the second half, man. I just had more energy and I was ready to really get things going. But unfortunately, it was cut short on the first play."

On the play after Peterson was injured, quarterback Christian Ponder took a vicious shot from London Fletcher at the end of a sack and walked to the locker room after the series with a concussion.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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