You know that big, exciting return we were all waiting for this Friday night at the Metrodome when the Minnesota Vikings host the San Diego Chargers in the third (and most important) pre-season game?
Yeah. . .scratch that.
The Vikings have made the decision that running back Adrian Peterson will not be seeing any action this pre-season, and will not make his debut before the regular season opener on September 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The speculation was that Peterson would get some carries in the pre-season, whether it was this Friday against San Diego or in the pre-season finale a week from Thursday against the Houston Texans. However, in an attempt to protect Peterson and ensure his availability for the first game that counts, the team will not put him on the field prior to that time.
As much as we were looking forward to seeing #28 get back onto the field and run people over, this probably is the best route to take. And if he wasn't going to play in this Friday's game, playing him in the last pre-season game wouldn't make any sense, either. The last thing the Vikings need is a fourth-stringer that's trying to make a name for himself doing his best Al Harris impression towards Adrian Peterson's knee in meaningless action.
So, Adrian Peterson will be back for the season opener, just like he's always said he would be. He just won't be back any sooner than that, that's all.