When Adrian Peterson is healthy, he’s the best running back in the NFL.
But he’s not healthy.
Adrian Peterson has a rare combination of strength and speed, and can both bowl you over and juke you to the ground.
But he tore his ACL in the final game last year, and at this point you’re not sure if he can be trusted to carry your groceries up a set of stairs, let alone anchor your fantasy backfield.
Adrian Peterson says he’s fine, though, and he’s been back at practice and working out in full pads for over a week now without a setback of any kind.
But he won’t play in a pre-season game, meaning his first game action since tearing apart his knee will come in an environment with the intensity heightened, and the opposition more motivated to see if he really has healed.
This is the kind of internal battle happening right now wherever fantasy draft prep is taking place, whether it’s a kitchen table, on public transit, or a treehouse. There’s optimism growing quickly around Peterson, even if the “buts” are still making a strong case. To a lesser extent the same discussion surrounds Jamaal Charles, but the Chiefs running back has quieted concerns by participating in both of his team’s pre-season games, and taking hits directly to his own injured knee.
The difference, however, is that Charles tore his ACL way back in Week 2 of last year, giving him a three-month head start in his recovery before the 2011 season even ended. Peterson, meanwhile, waited until the regular-season finale to do his own shredding, leaving potential fantasy owners to wait, hope, and maybe eventually guess.
So what should you do with Peterson? Nothing, because at the position where he’s currently being drafted, there’s nothing you can do. Just have faith, and hope history repeats itself (in a good way).
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