I know you’re afraid of Adrian Peterson. We all are after seeing his menacing mugshot.

But fear not, friends, because he’s been practicing in full pads for over a week now, and his injured knee where there was once a torn ACL still hasn’t combusted. Grab that draft bargain while you can.

What follows comes with the disclaimer that Peterson still hasn’t faced contact, not even cuddly practice contact. That will change soon enough, but for now the Vikings aren’t quite ready for him to take blows to his knee, so they’re only simulating contact to his upper half during practice carries. For his opposing dummy defenders, the threat of being shot cut if they hit Peterson remains in place.

However, there’s still plenty of encouraging news coming out of Minnesota. Peterson was given clearance to fully participate in practice on Aug. 14 with the exception of contact, and as Jeremy Fowler of the Pioneer Press reports, nine days later he still hasn’t died.

The Vikings’ plan is to increase Adrian Peterson’s workload a little every day, place him in different situations to challenge the left knee. So far, from what I’m told, Peterson’s knee is responding well.

Peterson has not experienced swelling the morning after practices, including after Monday’s big effort that included 18 carries. Since Peterson returned to pads Aug. 14, the Vikings have been pleased with his progress.

No swelling, and no pain

Prior to his first real practice reps, Peterson was available at a discount, and he likely still is in most drafts. But that won’t last much longer with his outlook slowly improving, and with the idea that a Pro Bowl caliber Peterson will surface early, maybe as early as Week 2 after light duty and a time share with Toby Gerhart to open the season.

You should still approach him with cautious optimism until he’sbeen exposed to contact, even if it only comes during practice since he’s sitting out for the remainder of the Vikings’ preseason schedule. If you’re drafting tonight, an early third-round grade on Peterson in a 10-team league is the right price.