In an interview with the Minnesota Star-Tribune, the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson said he is “locked in” on a week 1 return and can’t “even entertain” the possibility of not being out there week 1. A return to the football field roughly 9 months after tearing his ACL seems ridiculous, but remember Wes Welker did it in even less time and Adrian Peterson is simply a physical freak. A physical therapist overseeing his rehab says that Peterson “has a different protoplasm than the rest of the world.”
It’s worth noting that Welker had his worst season as a Patriot in the year after he returned from his injury. Peterson could average a career low YPC in 2012 (right now his low is 4.4). Peterson will also likely see fewer carries than normal if he’s out there, in an attempt to preserve him. Backup Toby Gerhart is a capable back. Still, Peterson will have strong fantasy football value if he’s out there week 1. My money would be on him being out there then. Peterson has already exceeded expectations in his recovery and the Vikings were confident enough to not draft a running back in the 2012 NFL Draft.