MINNEAPOLIS -- Since he was placed on the commissioner's exempt list in September, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has received a steady stream of support from teammates who've said they want to see him back on the field. In that regard, what wide receiver Greg Jennings said in a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview Friday wasn't that out of the ordinary.
But Jennings' comments caught my eye for a different reason in that they went a step further. Here's what he had to say:
“I don’t know if he’ll be back. I can’t answer that question,” Jennings said. “But what I do know is that if he does come back, he’d be accepted with open arms. As an organization from the Wilfs on down, we all want him back. So, I mean, it’s a touchy subject and he’s been the franchise player -- face of that team -- for eight years. So it will be a loss, a huge loss, if we can’t get him back, and that’s the nature of this business.”
That Jennings said Peterson is wanted back by everyone in the organization, from ownership on down, is interesting to me. Without knowing whether he's spoken to Zygi and Mark Wilf about the Peterson situation, it's still safe to say the receiver made one of the more sweeping proclamations of support for Peterson that we've heard from the Vikings. Coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman have said they want Peterson back, in so many words, but we haven't heard from ownership on Peterson's future, and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported in November that team vice president of legal affairs and chief administrative officer Kevin Warren had been working with the league to keep Peterson off the field in 2014.
Peterson told ESPN in December that he'd felt the support from his teammates, and that while he'd thought about the idea of getting a fresh start with another team, he had also watched each Vikings game during his absence, imagining how he'd fit in next to Teddy Bridgewater. He also said he knew the people who hadn't supported him in the Vikings organization are, "in the big scheme of things, not relevant."
"There's people in the organization that I know hands down love me," Peterson said in December. "I feel skeptical, of course, but that has been comforting."
Jennings added another layer to that Friday. Whether it reflects a unanimous sentiment in the organization is another matter, but the receiver certainly didn't mince words about the Vikings' support for Peterson.