MANKATO, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer had planned to keep Adrian Peterson out of exhibition games unless Peterson indicated he wanted work in the preseason. From what Peterson said Saturday, it seems likely the running back will go without a preseason carry for the fourth consecutive season.
"I've been doing it for a long time," Peterson said. "I kind of grew out of trying to play in the preseason. Might as well throw all your marbles out there when it really counts."
Assuming he doesn't play in any of the Vikings' five preseason games, Peterson's return to the field would come Sept. 14 in San Francisco, in a Monday Night Football opener that comes exactly a year to the day after he missed his first game following his indictment on child injury charges. The Vikings deactivated Peterson for that game and put him on the commissioner's exempt list Sept. 17, after initially announcing he would continue to play during his legal battle.
Peterson played just one game in the 2014 regular season, carrying 21 times for 75 yards in the Vikings' 34-7 season-opening win over the St. Louis Rams. He hasn't carried the ball in a preseason game since he tore his ACL at the end of the 2011 season; the only preseason action Peterson has seen since then was one series of work in the Vikings' third preseason game in 2013 against San Francisco. Peterson was on the field for three snaps that night, but didn't carry the ball.
The running back will go through his fourth padded practice of training camp with the Vikings on Saturday evening, and practices likely will provide Peterson's only chance for contact before the start of the regular season.
Asked if he's feeling a sense of urgency to get more contact, Peterson said, "I am. But I'm being patient. I can wait until the Niners [game]."