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Adrian Peterson Says He’ll Return “If”

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The star running back might be coming back, but there’s a condition.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

For the past couple of weeks, the speculation about the potential return of Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson has been a major topic of conversation. Today at Winter Park, Peterson said that he still plans on returning this season.

Maybe.

Peterson said that he would return if the Vikings were in the playoff race, and that returning if the team was out of contention would be pointless.

“We’re playing it by ear,” (Peterson) said. “We’ll see how things play out. … I’m thinking that we’re going to make the playoffs, so that’s what I’m keeping my mind set on. So, if that’s not the case a week or two from now, we can settle back around.”

At this point, it’s not clear how long Peterson is going to wait to determine whether or not the Vikings are still in the race. Does he come back if the Vikings beat the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday? Does he wait to see if they can win two in a row and come back for the Christmas matchup in Green Bay?

Regardless of whether or not Peterson comes back this season, you have to think that this is the last full month of the Adrian Peterson Era in Minnesota. With a cap figure of $18 million for 2017 and pretty much no trade value (particularly at that price), it seems like Peterson’s options are going to be to take a significant pay cut or to take his services elsewhere.

Have we already seen Peterson’s final carries in purple and gold? Apparently the next week or two will be the determining factor.