SEATTLE -- During his MVP season a year ago, Adrian Peterson came back from ACL surgery in less than nine months, played through an ankle injury in October and ran for 1,353 yards in the second half while playing the final seven games with a sports hernia that would end many players' seasons. This season, he has persevered through a hamstring injury for the first part of the season, and was listed as probable for Sunday's game despite a groin injury.
That ailment, though, might finally be the one to slow Peterson down, at least temporarily.
He carried only seven times in the second half of the Vikings' 41-20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and admitted after the game that the groin injury "was bothering me a lot." He said he likely won't practice much this week before the Vikings' game against the Green Bay Packers, and while it seems unlikely Peterson will sit out because of the injury, its effect was noticeable on Sunday.
Peterson gained only 65 yards on his 21 carries, and couldn't find many big gains against a tough Seattle defense. He averaged only 1.28 yards after contact on Sunday -- his third-lowest total of the season -- according to ESPN Stats and Information, and on several runs, particularly a 13-yarder in the third quarter, Peterson was pulled down when it looked like he had room to break away if he was at full speed.
"Playing in that first half, oh man, I knew if I was able to explode the way I normally do, I could have got some big chunks -- even took it to the house," Peterson said. "But that second half, I tried to get it to loosen up for me, but we couldn’t create a drive.”
The Vikings' offensive line couldn't create much room for Peterson, particularly on plays where he was looking for opportunities to cut back against the grain, and Seattle's defense is one of the best in the league. But Peterson ran for 182 yards on the same field against many of the same players last season. Robbed of his top gear on Sunday, though, he was unable to get much going.
"He is not 100 percent. That groin is bothering him," coach Leslie Frazier said. "It definitely affected him. There were a couple of moments when he was so close to breaking it and just couldn’t get that one key ingredient to get it going, but no, he is not 100 percent.”