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Peterson Will Play Sunday, But Should He?

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

We're less than twenty-four hours away from kickoff of the third pre-season game of the year for the Minnesota Vikings, as they take on the San Francisco 49ers in prime time. Well, as "prime time" as a pre-season game can be, anyway. And as we all know, Adrian Peterson is going to see his first, and likely only, pre-season action in tomorrow's game.

But should Peterson be out there?

Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune feels that there's no reason for the Vikings to risk the league's Most Valuable Player in what is, really, a meaningless football game.

The logic makes sense, but no matter how much Peterson begs, Frazier should resist the urge to play him Sunday, even if the plan calls for him to get only a series or two.

The injury risks far outweigh any potential benefit. Peterson's body takes enough pounding during the season. Why expose him to one of the best, most hard-hitting defenses in the NFL? Have they not seen the rash of injuries that have occurred around the league?

Peterson doesn't need preseason work to know what game speed feels like. He goes through daily life at warp speed already. If Peterson skipped preseason, does anyone honestly believe he would get to the opener in Detroit and think, Man, these guys are really moving fast.

I won't lie. . .I thoroughly agree with Scoggins on this one. I realize that Peterson could get injured on any play in any game, as any NFL player could. And we know that this team is probably in big, big trouble if that should happen.

The Niners' defense is really good and very physical, as Scoggins points out. I know that the Vikings want to see what the offense looks like with all its parts out on the field, but Peterson obviously doesn't need to be out there in pre-season. He didn't play a snap in the pre-season last year, and things seemed to work out pretty well. If Peterson gets injured in some way before the regular season even starts. . .and I don't even necessarily mean a season-ending injury, but just the sort of thing that could annoy him all year long. . .the Vikings' prospects for the 2013 season take a pretty serious hit.

What do you think, ladies and gentlemen? Do the Vikings need to have Adrian Peterson on the field tomorrow night in San Francisco? Should they have him out there?