Ian Rapoport of NFL.com thinks that Adrian Peterson could be at 100% by Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season, as long as he wants to take a break from pursuing Sarah Connor. (Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE)
Ian Rapoport from NFL.com, who I really hadn't seen much of prior to the past few days, has a couple of items in his most recent blog concerning our favorite football team.
The first compares the time table of running back Adrian Peterson's ACL injury to that of another big-name player that suffered the same thing, New England Patriots' wide receiver Wes Welker. It gives you good reason to think that Peterson's idea of being back for Week 1 of the NFL season might not be so crazy after all.
Welker tore his ACL on January 3, 2010 against the Houston Texans in the final game of the 2009 season. He waited for a month for the swelling to go down in his knee before having his surgery, putting it in early February. He was back and ready for Patriots' training camp in late July/early August. At the high end, that means he was back on the field and ready to play about six months after having surgery.
Overall, 2010 was a bit of a down year for Welker. . .he had just one 100-yard game on the season (in Week 15), but still caught 86 passes for 848 yards and seven touchdowns. The 86 catches was by far his lowest mark as a Patriot, as he's caught at least 111 passes in every other season he's been in New England. He averaged 9.9 yards/catch that year, but since coming to New England he's never averaged more than 12.9 yards/reception. . .in fact, his overall average since joining the Patriots has been right around 11 yards/catch (554 catches for 6,105 yards over five seasons).
Contrast that to Peterson, who injured his knee on December 24, 2011 and had surgery five days later. That gives him about a one-month headstart on Welker's timeline as far as getting his rehab started. As Rapoport puts it,
Welker was on the field six months after surgery, but he started to look like himself after eight months. For Peterson, without complications, that would put him on the field in early July (before camp) and have him feeling like himself in early September.
Again, if Certified Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman™ and Adrian Peterson think that they can get #28 back and ready to go by the time the Minnesota Vikings line up against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 9, I'm not going to doubt them.
Rapoport's other observation will be after the jump.This one involves Vikings' quarterback Christian Ponder, and why the Vikings might actually be asking him to dial things back a little bit.
I'm always a little intrigued by how different teams and players handle this summer break. Eagles QB Michael Vick told me last week he would be watching all of his bad plays. Yet the Vikings sounded like they wanted QB Christian Ponder to take a mental break. They'll hit him with some emails to keep his mind fresh, but offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said, "We also want them to decompress a little bit and recharge their batteries so they can crescendo when we get to Mankato. It's tough to keep that intensity for a long period of time." As always in life, a mix of the two is probably best. But my thought is that coaches give players one or two things to focus on, then leave them alone. Training camp is looooooong, and there is plenty of time.
Ponder's obvious work ethic is one of the things that Viking fans like about him the most, to be sure. Having said that, Musgrave is right. You don't want to take the risk of your starting quarterback burning out before Training Camp, no matter how anxious he might be to get going after last year's lockout-marred pre-season. From all of the accounts from mini-camps and the OTAs, he has put in some significant work already this off-season, and hopefully he'll have the chance to just relax a little bit before everyone gets to Mankato at the end of July.
It's nice that someone's paying attention to the Minnesota Vikings, in any event. News is going to be a little bit on the lean side until Training Camp starts, I think.