Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was forced to watch from the sideline in Week 15, but he came surprisingly close to playing. In fact, Peterson told reporters that he was ready to go, but "the decision was taken out of my hands."
Coach Leslie Frazier admitted Friday that Peterson looked far better than he had anticipated in his first on-field drill work since injuring his right foot the previous Sunday. Defying all expectations, especially given that midfoot injuries can be particularly tricky when an athlete tries to run, Peterson was out jogging on his foot less than a week after the injury. He said his foot felt good after testing it and, in what came as a surprise to no one, lobbied to play. The team made a decision with respect to the bigger picture of Peterson's health, not wanting to risk returning him to action so soon after he was carted off the field in pain, despite his rapid progress.
Peterson's lingering groin injury likely also benefited from an additional week of rest. As of Monday, there was early optimism about Peterson's chances of suiting up in Week 16. "I would anticipate that he would be back on the field," Frazier said. He likely will be joined by teammate Toby Gerhart, who also sat out Sunday's game because of a hamstring injury but appears to be improving. Barring a setback, Peterson is expected to take the field Sunday in what might be a meaningless game for Minnesota but could be a particularly meaningful one for fantasy owners.