The anticipated return of Adrian Peterson to a Minnesota Vikings squad desperately trying to stay in the NFC North playoff race failed to equal the smash success of A Tribe Called Quest’s reunion album.
In fact, Peterson’s return was pretty awful and Minnesota’s inability to keep the Indianapolis Colts off the board and the need to play catch up rendered Peterson’s bully ball useless.
The Colts and Andrew Luck sliced and diced the NFL’s second-ranked defense and took a 27-0 lead into halftime en route to a 34-6 thrashing.
“AD” gained just 22 yards on six carries in the loss, fumbling at the end of a 13-yard carry in the second quarter. The future Hall of Famer and only active NFL back with a 2,000 yard rushing season to his credit, carried the ball just twice in the second half.
(Photo Credit: Pioneer Press)
He played the unfamiliar role of healthy spectator as the Vikings had to go full blitz on the aerial attack to try and catch up.
"It was tough," Peterson said after the game. "You look at the scoreboard, down by a couple touchdowns, and the run game is kind of irrelevant at that point. Of course, I don't like being on the sideline, but I have faith in [fellow RBs] Matt [Asiata]and Jerick [McKinnon]. I just did not imagine it going this way today."
No one did.
Peterson is known as "The Comeback Kid.” TSL has chronicled his life story extensively in the past and he’s always been one to defy odds. Who can forget how Peterson miraculously and expeditiously returned from career-threatening injury to challenge Eric Dickerson’s single-season all-time rushing record back in 2012. Purple Jesus put everybody on alert that he wasn’t human. He was part machine and composed of the finest materials unknown to man.
As the Vikings scrape to stay alive in the NFC North playoff race, minus starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the return of Peterson, who rushed for 1,485 yards in 2015 after missing the previous season because of child abuse accusations, was supposed to be that added offensive boost.
The football community has been waiting for the wear-and-tear to catch up to the 31-year-old Peterson, but it hasn’t. It was business as usual after tearing his meniscus on Sept. 18 against the Packers. He returned in less than three months and came out on Sunday ready to catch his usual wreck.
Maybe next week’s contest will serve more fruitful for Peterson, but in any event, it was good to see the legend recovered and back on the field for a few more snaps. His presence can’t be anything but a positive for a Minnesota squad that needs all the help it can get scoring points.