It was Christmas Eve last year when Minnesota Vikings fans saw their worst nightmare playing out on the field. Star running Adrian Peterson was being carted off the field after a knee injury that later was found out to be of the ‘major’ variety, having torn both the ACL and MCL in his left knee. It wasn’t that long ago that an injury like that was almost certainly a career ender. Now the man they call ‘Purple Jesus’ is doing things on the football field just about as impressive as walking on water.
Peterson unbelievably was ready to go just nine months later and started the first game of the year. Now, nine games into it, Peterson is having a career season and after yesterday’s 182 yard outburst, AP is leading the NFL with 957 yards and is the only guy averaging over 100 yards a game.
Peterson is also leading the NFL with 11 runs over 20 yards, nobody else has more than seven. AP is averaging 5.7 yards a carry (4th best in the league) and he’s doing all of this with a passing game that is suspect at best. Christian Ponder completed 11 passes yesterday for 63 yards. Vikings opponents know that Peterson is coming and they still can’t stop him.
There is no question that Adrian is benefiting from advances in medicine, but he’s also a freak of nature athlete. Gale Sayers tore multiple knee ligaments back in 1968 and the once unstoppable player was never quite the same. The only question is whether or not Peterson can finish up the season healthy, and so far there’s no indication that he can’t. He seems to be just getting stronger as the season goes on.
That’s what makes his ridiculously fast recovery even more remarkable.