Adrian Peterson is not at full strength and it is clearly evident.
Bothered by a nagging groin injury, Peterson carried 21 times for 65 yards Sunday against the Seahawks. There were times when it appeared he needed a burst of speed or a quick move to break a long run. But he just didn’t appear to have it in him.
“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. He’s not 100 percent.”
Said Peterson of the injury: “Actually, it was bothering me a lot. There were a couple plays in the first half, oh man, I knew if I was able to explode the way I normally do I could have gotten some big chunks, even taken it to the house.”
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Meanwhile, the Seahawks, like all teams, know Peterson is the Vikings’ main offensive threat. So they built their game plan around stopping him. They often had eight men waiting for Peterson at the line of scrimmage during obvious running situations.
And although his counterpart, Marshawn Lynch, was not much more impressive (17 carries, 54 yards), Lynch did score three touchdowns, including two on the ground.
There’s some question as to whether he might be better off sitting out until the injury heals. Otherwise, he faces a risk of making it worse. Peterson said he didn’t think that was necessary. He previously had been hobbled by a bad hamstring.
“I’m going to try to get my rest that I need,” he said. “I’m probably going to do it this week (in practice). Just push it to Sunday. In my mind, I really don’t know how things will turn out deep into the week. Fortunately, I came out and was able to play some. I’ll try and do the same thing (next game).”
Peterson added that he was not frustrated by a subpar performance.
“Not really because coming into the game you know these guys are going to try and stop the run,” he said. “Their defense, they’re going to have eight in the box no matter what. They knew who they were going up against so they were coming in and holding on for dear life.”