December 16, 2011
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is, by his own estimate, only 85 percent recovered from a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 11. The injury was severe enough to sideline him for three games. His team's record is 2-11, tied for the second-worst in the NFL.
At this point in a lost year, it can be reasonably argued that the Vikings should simply protect their greatest asset from further harm. We're talking about an all-world talent who just signed a $96 million deal ($36 million of which is guaranteed), and Minnesota is essentially in a race to the bottom of the standings, playing for draft position.
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But Peterson clearly understands that the closing weeks of the season mean too much to too many of us. When asked on Thursday about the importance of a Week 15 return, these were his comments (via the Star Tribune):
"It's very important, especially for my fantasy team owners," Peterson said with a smile. "They've been giving me a hard time."
"They'll say, 'Will you please [play]? I'll send my wife down to visit you,'" Peterson said. "Sometimes, it's like, wow. Some of the things I read on there is crazy."
Well ... desperate times lead to drastic actions. I'm not going to call it "crazy." That's a strong word. But I can't say that I'm totally comfortable with the wife-for-fantasy-points trade, either. I mean, if that proposal was made after the deadline in this dude's league, then it's pretty clearly a rules violation. That can't stand. Let's hope the league has a strong commissioner.
In any case, it sounds like AP is determined to get back on the field for the fantasy playoffs, despite the hopeless situation of his real-life time. Peterson has a few statistical goals to reach, as he's 128 rushing yards short of 1,000 this season and 164 shy of Minnesota's all-time franchise record. The upcoming match-up with New Orleans is relatively friendly — the Saints defense has given up 4.9 yards per carry this season — so AP should have a productive week. The Vikes might be toast, but the stakes have never been higher for a few thousand Peterson-led fake teams.
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