It's hard to believe but
That's why Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner has new plans for Peterson as he installs his offense. Turner, along with head coach Mike Zimmer, want to turn some of Peterson's carries into catches, according to ESPN. Not only should that cut down on the wear-and-tear he'd take on, but it also puts the explosive Peterson out in space against smaller defenders.
Peterson had a career high 43 catches for 436 yards in 2009. He's never had more than one receiving touchdown in a season.
Peterson said Wednesday he understands he might not, reports USA Today. And he thinks if he's not on the team then fans would be quite unhappy.
"I think the organization would take a heavy hit – for real – more so from the fan base," Peterson said. "I don't think it would be like a LeBron (James) situation where they're burning my jersey, this, that and the other. They might be doing (the opposite) and not buying some season tickets."
When the stadium opens, Peterson will 31 years old. He has undergone surgeries in three straight offseasons and has a hefty contract, which is scheduled to pay him $58 million through 2017, none of it guaranteed.
Freeman contends that's "an impossible salary structure to pay a player in today's game, where the running back position has been greatly devalued."
An AFC general manager told Freeman he expects this season to be Peterson's last with Minnesota.
The report says the team is looking for a replacement for the departed
"He's getting to the point where you don't have to give him the ball 50 times a game for 16 games," said general manager Rick Spielman. "Adrian's the face of our franchise, but Norv (Turner) has a history of having two backs to keep him fresh, because I think it's very important as you go through the season that they're still strong in Week 16 and they're still strong when you get into the playoffs."
Minnesota doesn't have a surefire No. 2 back on the roster.
After that, Minnesota has just Joe Banyard and Bradley Randle on the roster. They've mostly been practice squad players.
Peterson needs to be healthy because the offense in Minnesota is changing under new coordinator Norv Turner. The Vikings plan to be more pass-happy in 2014.
"My rushing yards might not be up to par, but it's not about that," Peterson said. "It's all about winning. I'm trying to win a championship, so if that (means) taking less of a pounding and being more productive in the pass game, I'm all-in for it."
Peterson ran for 2,097 yards in his 2012 MVP season. But injuries limited him to 14 games in 2013, and he had an adductor repair and release in January — his third surgery in as many offseasons at age 29.
From that perspective, lightening Peterson's workload seems like a no-brainer, though he said he's excited to be more involved in the passing game under Turner, whose offenses always have at least one running back around 50 catches. Peterson's career high is 43.
"He's going to catch passes," Turner said. "You've got to try to utilize all the guys that can make plays, and I think you need to be able to run the ball in this league. But I think if all you do is run it, it gets real hard."
|P3||8/23/14||@ KC||8:00 pm|
|P4||8/28/14||@ TEN||8:00 pm|
|1||9/7/14||@ STL||1:00 pm|
|3||9/21/14||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|5||10/2/14||@ GB||8:25 pm|
|7||10/19/14||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
|8||10/26/14||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|11||11/16/14||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|15||12/14/14||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|16||12/21/14||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
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