Adrian Peterson Progressing With ACL Rehab; Cleared to Run

By Andrew Fisher

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been cleared to start running, according to a report from CBSSports’ Dave Richard.

Peterson is now 3 months out from his ACL and MCL tears in Week 16 against the Washington Redskins. Here’s what head coach Leslie Frazier had to say about his star running back’s progress.

“Ideally, we’d love to have him back opening day,” Frazier said. “That’s what we’re aiming for, that’s what he wants to see happen, that’s what we’d all love to see happen. But at the same time we’ll have to be smart and just see where he is. But this is the beginning stages of running so we’ll have a better gauge in one or two weeks as to what kind of progress he’s going to make.”

To no one’s surprise, Frazier also acknowledged the Vikings will be seeking to add even more depth to their backfield.

“We’ll probably have to either bring in a veteran guy or draft someone to help us with Toby,” Frazier said. “We want to have a third guy on our roster for sure. Whether he’s a guy that’s only used in third-down situations or has the capability of being used in first- and second-down situations.”

Last week, the team signed free agent running back Lex Hilliard, who is a 5’11, 240 lb guy, that figures to see lots of time on third down in 2012.

Adding one more back into the mix would not be a bad decision. Peterson’s back up Toby Gerhart is also coming off a minor MCL tear, and in the NFL, you just can’t ever have enough bodies.

I’m confident, and AP also seems confident, that he’ll be ready to go week one, but ready to play and 100 %, are two completely different things. History shows that most all backs coming off a major knee injury, experience a decrease in productivity the following year.

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish 

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