Adrian Peterson claims high road in LeBron James comparison: Call me MJ

Peterson on Charles-LeBron comparison: I'm MJ (2:33)

ESPN NFL analyst Brian Dawkins says Adrian Peterson is more like LeBron and Tom Brady is more like Michael Jordan. (2:33)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles won't get to decide Sunday the issue of which player is the genuine LeBron James of the NFL, the one opposing defenses have to put all their resources into stopping.

That being the case, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson took the high road when asked to settle the debate, perhaps in deference to his injured Kansas City Chiefs counterpart.

"I'll say I'm the Michael Jordan,'' Peterson said on a conference call with Kansas City area media. "There's always the debate, would LeBron be better than Michael? So I'll say I'm the Michael Jordan of football.''

The Chiefs and Vikings meet on Sunday in Minneapolis, but Charles won't be taking part. He tore the ACL in his right knee in last week's game against the Chicago Bears and this week was placed on the injured reserve list, ending his season.

Charles and Peterson waged a friendly war of words this summer with each claiming he was the LeBron James of the NFL.

Other than to say he was Jordan to Charles' James, Peterson on Tuesday was in no mood to taunt his fallen counterpart.

"It hurt me to the core to see my guy go down and in the opposite leg as well,'' Peterson said, referring to the torn left ACL Charles suffered in 2011. "Knowing Jamaal, he'll bounce back. I hated to see him go down like that. He's been through it before with the left knee and he kind of knows what to expect during this rehab and recovering from it. That's one positive.

"He has so much talent. He's one of those guys that has that God-given ability. I think if he just has his mind right mentally and puts the work in, he'll be just fine.''

Charles returned in 2012 to have his best NFL season, rushing for a career-high 1,509 yards.

Peterson indicated he has yet to contact Charles, but planned to do so.

"What I want to do is kind of sit back because I know his phone is blowing up because I know how it was when I had mine,'' said Peterson, who tore his ACL later in that 2011 season. "I want to catch him when he's kind of down and ... his mind is kind of adjusting to everything that's happened and talk to him then.

"I'll reach out to him during the offseason, when I know he's back down in Texas, and try to get him to come work out with my guys and get him back to doing what he does best.''