The Minnesota Vikings won again Monday night, dominating the New York Giants 24-10 to become, along with the Denver Broncos, the second 4-0 team in football. The Vikings rank second in the league in scoring defense (12.5 points per game allowed), and Sam Bradford, with four touchdowns and zero interceptions, has taken command of the offense.
There’s just one problem: Adrian Peterson (torn meniscus) is on the sideline and figures to be there for quite a while.
“I think he’s done for the season,” former Minnesota long-snapper and current Vikings radio host Mike Morris said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “There’s no question about it. It’s the kind of thing that you can’t rush back. He’s a running back. Whether he believes it or not, he’s aging. Thirty-one years old, and it’s going to be tough to see Adrian back. It’s a huge liability because of his price tag to try and put him back out there and then have something happen again.”
When healthy, Peterson is perhaps the best back in football. He rushed for 2,097 yards in 2012, had 1,400+ total yards in 2013 and 1,700+ total yards in 2015. He’s also rushed for 10+ touchdowns in every season in which he’s played at least 12 games.
Two of the last three years, however, have been a disaster. If he does not return this season, Peterson will have missed 15 games in 2014 and 14 games in 2016.
“He had the year two years ago where he missed most of the season,” Morris said. “He only played one game. He had some issues off the field and now this. We’re talking about two years now where he’ll end up making somewhere around $24 million and only playing two or three games. They have to be really careful what they’re going to try to do with him now.”
Peterson, by the way, showed signs of decline in limited action this year, rushing 31 times for just 50 yards (1.6 yards per carry). It’s a small sample, yes, but it’s a sample that the Vikings – and other teams – need to consider going forward.
“Great talent, incredible football talent and you want to see him retire here with the Vikings,” Morris said. “But I just don’t see how that can work on paper and the kind of money he’s going to demand still.”