We were all feeling quite a mix of emotions on Saturday afternoon when Adrian Peterson went down with his knee injury. In between getting the recaps done both here and at SB Nation Minnesota, I jumped around the internet to a few of the various other Minnesota Vikings' websites, message boards, communities, etc., and discovered something that I found a bit strange, to say the least.
It appeared that there a disturbingly large number of folks that wanted to put the blame for Peterson's injury on Leslie Frazier for some reason or another. They went on about how Peterson shouldn't have been on the field in a "meaningless" game and how, in some cases, Frazier should be fired for allowing it to happen.
I guess I have just one question for anyone that thinks Adrian Peterson shouldn't have been on the field this Saturday when he was ready, willing, and able to do so.
Are you serious?By the time Saturday's game came around, Peterson was no longer listed in the injury report for anything. That meant that he was ready to play and contribute to the Vikings' cause against the Washington Redskins. From all accounts, Adrian Peterson is as ultra-competitive a player as there is in the NFL, and if Leslie Frazier had held him out, it's pretty likely that he would have been really, really ticked off about that. Then all the people that are complaining that Peterson was on the field on Saturday would be complaining that Frazier made Peterson angry by holding him out.
(That's one thing I've discovered in 5 1/2 years of doing this. . .there's a certain segment of this fan base that apparently isn't happy if they're not complaining about something.)
Yes, Adrian Peterson got hurt in what was, ultimately, a meaningless football game for the Minnesota Vikings. The reality is that every single NFL play could, potentially, be a player's last for a season or a career. On Saturday, Jared Allen (who hasn't been listed on the injury report all year) could have gotten chop blocked and taken off on a cart. Christian Ponder did take two helmet-to-helmet hits, and I'll be surprised if he plays in the finale. (And I'll still submit that if Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, or Tom Brady had taken the same hit as the one Ponder did that put him out of the game, a 15-yard penalty would have been involved.) Even the 46th guy on the active roster on Saturday, someone like Emmanuel Arceneaux or Jarrad Page, could have blown a knee or suffered a head injury or some other devastating injury that would have ensured they never set foot on an NFL field again.
It just so happens that it happened to Minnesota's best player. And yes, it angers us more than it would to one of the guys on the bottom of the depth chart, but that's just the way that things go in this league.
Leslie Frazier has done some questionable things in his first full season as Minnesota's head coach, and I don't think anybody will argue that. Playing Adrian Peterson on Saturday, however, is not among them. The injury that happened to #28 could have happened to anybody, healthy or otherwise.