Adrian Peterson Sounds Likely To Open Season On PUP List

If Tom Pelissero's speculation is accurate, this man will be starting at running back for the first six games of 2012 for the Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

That's the speculation from 1500 ESPN's Tom Pelissero, in any case.

But all signs continue to point to Peterson continuing his rehabilitation from knee reconstruction on the camp/physical unable to perform list, preserving the possibility of transferring him to reserve/PUP for the season's first six weeks.

Peterson tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his left knee on Dec. 24 at Washington and had surgery six days later. His rehab has remained on track, but it's still far too soon to say whether he can meet his goal of a Week 1 return.

"It's early right now," coach Leslie Frazier said. "But in my mind right now, it'd be better to be doing things on the side (in camp) until we know and feel comfortable that he can get out there and interact with the players."

That almost certainly means Peterson will be placed on camp/PUP, from which he could be activated whenever the Vikings' medical staff decides he's ready.

If this were to take place, Peterson would not be eligible to see the field until, at the earliest, the Vikings' Week 7 match-up against the Arizona Cardinals.

In the games that Peterson missed last year, Toby Gerhart proved himself capable of carrying the load from the running back spot offensively, carrying the ball 109 times for 531 yards. He also caught 23 passes for 190 yards, and three of his four touchdowns came via the pass. Granted, he's not Adrian Peterson or anything, but it's not as though the Vikings' running game will be a complete disaster if the team has to start Gerhart at running back for the first six games of the year.

We're all pulling for Adrian Peterson, and if anybody can make it all the way back from this in time for training camp, it's him. . .but the team will do what they feel is best for Peterson, and that might include sitting him down for the first six weeks of the 2012 season.

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