The Vikings have placed running back Adrian Peterson on injured reserve, per a team announcement. Peterson underwent surgery Thursday to repair the torn meniscus he suffered in the Vikings’ 17-14 win over the Packers last Sunday.
Minnesota put left tackle Matt Kalil on IR with a hip injury earlier Friday, meaning only one of him or Peterson will be able to return this year. The likelier of the two to come back is Peterson, who the Vikings hope will take the field again by December, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (Twitter link).
Peterson has long been the Vikings’ best player, having gone to seven Pro Bowls and racked up an MVP since they chose him seventh overall in the 2007 draft. The former Oklahoma Sooner wasn’t nearly as effective prior to succumbing to injury this year, though, as Peterson accumulated a meager 50 yards on 31 carries – good for an unsightly average of 1.6. However, the 31-year-old was a premier option as recently as last season, when he scored 11 touchdowns while leading the NFL in both carries (327, 39 ahead of second place) and yards (1,485).
Despite long-term injuries to Peterson, Kalil, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, the 2-0 Vikings will try to win their second straight NFC North title this year. The recently acquired Sam Bradford filled in well for Bridgewater in his debut Sunday, while the team’s hope is that its current in-house options will pick up Peterson’s slack.
Running backs Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon combined for a mere 13 carries over the season’s first two weeks, but their workloads are sure to increase in Peterson’s absence. Minnesota also signed fellow rusher Ronnie Hillman on Wednesday. Hillman logged 207 carries, 863 yards and seven touchdowns as a member of the Super Bowl-winning Broncos last season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.