All around NFL training camps, players are punching each other in the face with few or no repercussions. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, there is one guy who can't even be touched, under penalty of immediate job loss.
I speak of Adrian Peterson, Minnesota's superstar running back, who's recovering from surgery to repair a blown ACL and MCL. He recently returned to practice, about a month ahead of schedule, but the Vikings don't want him having any contact with anyone else just yet.
The rules were explained pretty clearly to Jamarca Sanford, a fourth-year defensive back for the Vikings. This was the tweet from Dan Wiederer, Vikings beat writer for the Star Tribune:
Jamarca Sanford on orders given to the D about Adrian Peterson: "The rules are simple. Do not touch 28. If you touch him, you're cut."
Not all NFL players are created equally. No disrespect to Jamarca Sanford, but you could pummel his face with a tire iron for about a half hour, and the coaches would probably applaud your aggressiveness.
Peterson is a protected species, though. He is the offense. He is the show.
He didn't play in the Vikings' first preseason game against San Francisco, and he won't play in the next one against Buffalo, either. There's a chance that he could see some action in the last one, though. Via the Mankato Free Press:
"We'll gauge him daily," Frazier said. "If we could get him in a game and let him get a little bit of the taste of NFL action, that would be good, but we'll see."
All the caution makes me nervous for Peterson's 2012 season. It's Aug. 15, and no Viking is allowed to breathe on him, but when the regular season rolls around, the Vikings are going to be counting on him for 350-plus ultra-violent carries? Let's just say I'm not high on the Vikings as a playoff team for 2012. I don't feel particularly good about Adrian Peterson playing 16 games, either.
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