We noted earlier this month the painful injury Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson played with during his MVP season. A sports hernia developed in Week 10, forced him out of a Week 16 game against the Houston Texans and ultimately led to surgery.
One question remained: Why did Peterson play in the Pro Bowl? It's one thing to gut out an injury during a playoff push. But why expose yourself further pain, and push back recovery from eventual surgery, by playing in the Pro Bowl?
I posed that question to Vikings coach Leslie Frazier last week at the NFL scouting combine, and it was clear that Frazier wouldn't have minded if Peterson had passed on playing.
"It was something that he had his heart set on," Frazier said. "He felt like he could protect himself."
Peterson carried five times for 13 yards in the game. According to Frazier, word got through to the Green Bay Packers' coaching staff, which coached the NFC team, that Peterson was dealing with a sports hernia.
"The coaches over there did a good job," Frazier said. "They didn't stress him. They knew."
I wonder what the Packers thought when they found out. Frazier said "it was a push" to get Peterson ready for a crucial Week 17 game between the teams, played seven days after pain forced him to the sideline against the Texans.
"We were concerned going into that ball game how he was going to perform," Frazier said.
To refresh your memory, Peterson ran for 199 yards in that game to help the Vikings clinch a playoff spot. Imagine if he was healthy!