In case anyone was holding out hope of another superhuman recovery time for running back Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings appear to have put the kibosh on that idea.
According to the team’s official website, the Vikings have officially placed Peterson on injured reserve, potentially ending his tenth pro season after just two games.
Peterson suffered a torn meniscus in his knee while being tackled in Minnesota’s 17-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers this past Sunday night. He had been extremely limited in two regular season games prior to the injury, and earlier this week said he was opting for surgery that would likely have him out for a period of months rather than weeks. That surgery was successfully completed on Thursday.
While the Vikings could, potentially, bring Peterson back later in the season, he would have to miss a minimum of six weeks before he could be brought back. He doesn’t have to be designated as potentially returning from injured reserve, as teams can now bring back any player they place on the list. They can still only bring back one player, though, which means that if both Peterson and offensive tackle Matt Kalil somehow find themselves in a position to return to the field, the team can only bring one of them back.
There’s a chance that we’ve seen Adrian Peterson’s last game in a Vikings’ uniform at this point. His contract with the Vikings runs through 2017, and he’s due a total of $18 million next year, including a $6 million bonus that kicks in on the third day of the league year. However, the Vikings can cut him at any time before that without incurring any sort of dead money hit on their salary cap. Since there’s basically no chance that the Vikings are going to be paying a 32-year old running back $18 million in 2017, particularly in light of this injury, whether or not Peterson plays another down in purple is likely going to depend on the ability and/or desire of the two sides to put together a new deal.
We have not yet seen a corresponding roster move for who will take Peterson’s roster spot, now that the team has one open. The team signed Ronnie Hillman to play a role in the backfield earlier in the week, but that came in conjunction with the team placing Kalil on IR. We’ll have to see what move the Vikings make to get their roster back to 53.