Adrian Peterson (Tom Dahlin/Getty)
As expected, the Vikings started training camp with Adrian Peterson on the PUP list, watching instead of participating.
Despite Adrian Peterson’s protests, the Minnesota Vikings started their star running back on the training camp active/PUP (physically unable to perform) list.
Peterson arrived at training camp in Mankato, Minn., declaring himself a “full go” after having surgery to repair his torn anterior and medial collateral ligaments on Dec. 30, but the Vikings’ medical and coaching staffs didn’t want to push Peterson too hard too soon, despite his lobbying attempts.
“He put up a fight,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “Knowing Adrian like you guys do, he wanted to make sure. He said, ‘Coach, don’t hold me back.’ He wanted to get out there, but we’ve got to be smart. We need to see him do a few things and then make a determination. If he had his way, he’d be getting involved today.”
Peterson was on the field for the Vikings’ morning walk-through practice to open training camp and watched as the offense went through a progression of plays. He spent several minutes talking with Frazier as the rest of the first-team offense ran plays.
The Vikings will be able to pull Peterson off the PUP list at any time during the preseason.
“We’ll continue to evaluate him daily and see how he’s progressing. At some point the doctors and Eric Sugarman, our head trainer, will come to me and say, ‘Hey, we think he’s ready to get involved in some of the team activities,’” Frazier said. “At this point, we’re going to go through some of the evaluation and make a determination as to when is the right time to put him out there with his teammates.”
Peterson said Thursday that the only thing left after rehabilitating his surgically repaired knee for seven months was to get out on the field with teammates and experience contact.
“To be honest, I’m full go. I’m pretty much doing everything – cutting, running, jumping,” Peterson said. “It’s kind of different when you put pads on and you’ve got guys diving at your legs, making these sudden cuts based off instincts, the instincts of the game. So that aspect I really haven’t had a lot to practice with. So that’s really what I want, to get a feel and get out there and get involved in that.”
Despite’s Peterson’s competitive spirit, he and the Vikings have maintained throughout the process that the most important date for him is Sept. 9, the team’s regular-season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. If he would start the regular season on the PUP list, he would be required to sit out at least six weeks before resuming activities, but that isn’t expected to happen.
BURTON, SHULER SIDELINED
Second-year receiver Stephen Burton, who spent the final three weeks of the 2011 season on injured reserve with a knee injury, is starting training camp on the non-football injury list after jamming his toe recently. Frazier said he will do conditioning activities on the side while the rest of the team practices.
"He’s a young guy so it’s hard to draw conclusions at this point in his career," Frazier said. "We’ll see how he progresses and hopefully this toe will evolve and get better shortly. But it’s too early to draw conclusions about whether or not this is going to be his history.”
Burton started his rookie season on the practice squad for the first seven weeks, then played three of the next six weeks before landing on injured reserve. He also had pneumonia that kept him out of some offseason workouts.
Tight end Mickey Shuler is also starting camp on the non-football injury list with a heel injury suffered a few weeks ago, according to Frazier.
"We’re going to do some activities with him this afternoon off to the side," Frazier said. "He’ll be day to day as we try to time determine the right time to put him back out there with his teammates. We don’t think it’s an overly serious injury, but we have to do some things with him with our trainer just to determine how severe that heel injury is. The X-rays that we took and the MRI were all negative. There were no issues there, but we want him to be able to get past the pain so that we can get him involved."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.