The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

November 15, 2012

Adrian Peterson's recovery giving Vikings hope

(Continued)

Conventional thinking is that it takes a player, particularly a skill position player like a running back, a little less than a year to return from the injury and two years before he is returns to full strength, if he ever does at all. Peterson vowed to return in time for the season opener, which he did, but it took a few games before he started to really break out.

His first 100-yard game came in Week 4 against Detroit, and it's been pedal to the metal ever since. He's had runs of 64, 74 and 61 yards in the last three weeks and is averaging 7.8 yards per carry over the last month. He's been so good that he said occasionally a defender will come up to him after a run and tell him, "You're great."

"I guess it shocked me," Peterson said. "You're out there, you're playing against guys and they come up and say different things like that to you. It's humbling. But I know that I'm blessed so I just take it in for what it is and just say thanks."

As impressive as Peterson has been through the first 10 games, the Vikings are going to need even more from him. They face a brutal stretch coming out of the bye — at Chicago, at Green Bay, Chicago at home, at St. Louis, at Houston and the season finale at home against the Packers.

If they're going to chase down that playoff spot and surprise the rest of the league, they're going to earn it.

"We'll worry about our problems when they come, but we obviously know who we have coming up on our schedule," linebacker Chad Greenway said. "The next three weeks are huge. We just have to be men on the road. We have to figure out a way to go to tough spots and get wins that are ugly and that count. We have to figure that out."

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