NFL Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings Correct to Be Cautious with Adrian Peterson

Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

With Adrian Peterson‘s return this past Sunday, came a lot of optimism. The star running back dazzled in his return to full contact, finding the end zone on two occasions. But as happy as Minnesota Vikings fans are, they must be cautiously optimistic.

It’s easy to think ahead, but the reality is still a guy only 9 months out from major reconstructive surgery.

In typical AP fashion, he stated that he thought he would get more than 17 carries in the opener, and he’s probably the only one who thought that. He’s also probably the only one who thought he would score twice as well…

Luckily for fans, it seems that the coaching staff is fully committed to keeping their franchise player in check, early on this season.

Head coach Leslie Frazier made these comments on the situation:

“I don’t think we can at this point say, ‘Adrian, look forward to carrying that ball 20 to 25 times.’ I don’t think we’re at that point quite yet. But before (Sunday’s) game, I wouldn’t have been able to say that he would carry it 17 (times) either. He’s very unique in so many ways, but I think we’ll go into it going forward knowing that he’s coming off a major knee surgery and it will only be his second game since that surgery and full participation. We’ll be somewhat cautious.”

“We had talked about this beforehand, that that conversation had to be going on all throughout the game. ‘How you doing? How are you coming along? Are you fatigued, are you feeling soreness?’ So it was constant communication. With every conversation, it was always positive. There were some moments where we did bring him out. He got a little bit winded, but he continued to want to participate and there were no ills effects from that. He did a great job.”

I love the fact that AP is back and performing at the level he is, but he’s not quite out of the woods yet. If he gets around 15-17 carries again this week, I think that’s a good place to be. The team must keep him on somewhat of a restriction, and ease him back into the week to week grind of the NFL.

In addition I think the Vikings should utilize Toby Gerhart more. He’s more than capable of being the team’s top back, but we all know his role with the return of Peterson.

I look for about the same amount of carries from Peterson in week two, and hopefully another five carries for Gerhart.

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish