The return of Adrian Peterson from injured reserve could be exactly what the Minnesota Vikings need in order to gain an advantage over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The running back was recently cleared to practice with the team earlier this week.
Peterson was sidelined in Week 2 following the game against the Green Bay Packers. After rushing for 19 yards, he was taken out of the game with a knee injury. It was later on revealed that he actually suffered a torn meniscus. After undergoing surgery, he was placed on injured reserve in Sept. 23.
Spending several weeks in the sidelines must have been hard for the running back, especially after seeing his team fumble and fall to multiple losses following their bye week. Starting with a winning record of 5-0, the Vikings spiraled to 7-6 after Week 7.
At their current record, the Vikings are in danger of falling out of playing contention but still has a chance to stay in the running in the NFC division as long as the win their last three games, according to NJ.com. With Peterson now bound to return, this might just happen for the Minnesota squad.
As noted by ESPN, Peterson was cleared to practice earlier this week. However, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is not yet sure if he will be allowed to play on Sunday against the Colts. Still though, Zimmer is confident that Peterson will be able to join the rest of the squad in the upcoming game.
And, even though he hasn't taken the field yet in a regular game, his teammates are already starting to feel good having Peterson in the active roster again.
"He's been a leader on this team," Sam Bradford said. "He's one of the best players in the league and he has been for quite some time."
"I think just having him back out at practice in the huddle, I think it's a definite lift to our guys," he added.
Hopefully though, Peterson's presence will be enough to push the Vikings in defeating the Colts on Sunday. Then, on Week 16 at Christmas Eve, they'll be facing off against the Packers. The team is expecting that Peterson will be present in this game.
For the team's last game for the season, they'll be meeting with the Chicago Bears.
Based on the Vikings' schedule, it seems the road to the playoffs will not be difficult for them, especially now that Peterson has returned.