Quiet start for Adrian Peterson as Saints rotate running backs

MINNEAPOLIS -- Adrian Peterson started with a bang -- a 9-yard run on the first play of the game -- as he returned to face the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.

But after that, it was a quiet first half for A.D. as the New Orleans Saints rotated their top three running backs.

Peterson actually ranked third in touches among the Saints' trio, as the team failed to generate much offense while falling behind the Vikings 16-6.

Peterson had four carries for 14 yards and no targets in the passing game. Mark Ingram had six carries for 17 yards and one catch for 18 yards. Rookie Alvin Kamara had four carries for 9 yards and two catches for minus-3 yards.

Peterson, who spent his first 10 seasons in Minnesota, received a healthy shower of boos as he and the Saints took the field to start the game -- with some cheers possibly mixed in there, too.

Peterson received more of a warm welcome two hours before the game, when he ran up to a sea of purple-and-gold fans to sign autographs -- pointing, smiling, high-fiving and posing for pictures. A couple fans were even shaking and screaming.

Peterson's run to start the game was a rarity for him the past two seasons. Only one of his 37 rushes last season went for more than 9 yards -- a 13-yarder in Week 15 that ended with a lost fumble.

Peterson was limited to just three games last season because of a torn meniscus in his knee. He is determined to prove wrong the doubters who think he is finished at age 32. But Monday night's opener isn't playing to his strengths, considering that the Saints should be forced to pass even more in the second half and prefer Ingram and Kamara on passing downs.

Ingram and Kamara were even on the field together for a few snaps.