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Report: Adrian Peterson Targeting Mid-December Return

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The star running back was placed on IR with a meniscus tear back in Week 3.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

If the stories are to be believed, the Minnesota Vikings could be getting their biggest name on offense back in the very near future.

Ben Goessling of ESPN.com (among others) is reporting that running back Adrian Peterson could be set to return from injured reserve by mid-December.

Peterson tore the meniscus in his right knee during Minnesota’s 17-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers back in Week 2. The team placed him on injured reserve a couple of days after the game, opening up his spot on the roster. However, with the NFL rules being what they are now, the team can choose to bring one player back from the injured reserve list. It has long been thought that player was going to be Peterson, and now it sounds like it’s going to happen in the next couple of weeks.

At the present time, the Vikings only have two “true” tailbacks on the active roster in Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata, following this week’s release of Ronnie Hillman. The team could use fullback Zach Line at that spot in a pinch, and they could even get Cordarrelle Patterson more involved in the running game, but it would appear that taking a running back off the roster was a precursor to a comeback from Peterson.

As it stands right now, it’s unclear how Peterson would fit into the offense the Vikings are now running under new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. The offense doesn’t necessarily play to Peterson’s strengths as much as Norv Turner’s offense did. However, given that the Vikings’ run game has been historically bad thus far in 2016, it’s hard to imagine a drop-off with Peterson coming back.

According to this article from The Sporting News, cornerback Xavier Rhodes sounded like he was fairly impressed with the progress that Peterson has been making in his rehab.

“He’s doing it at an intense level,” Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes told co-host Bill Polian and me on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Seeing him today was like, ‘I don’t think you’re supposed to be doing all this right now.’

“But it’s Adrian Peterson. He’s obviously not human.”

After today’s Thanksgiving Day contest in Detroit, the Vikings have a second consecutive Thursday game when they host the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Following that, they have ten days off before a trip to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars. That could be when we see the return of #28 to the Minnesota backfield.