Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson returned to the practice field for the first time in nine months this week after a significant period of unrest for the premier tailback.
It would be easy to anticipate that Peterson would be out of sorts and needing to get up to speed with the rest of his teammates on the first day of OTAs, but according to reports that has been far from the case.
Peterson was placed on the NFL commissioner's list last season after he was indicted on child abuse charges. The NFL has subsequently reinstated Peterson and now he is gearing for a huge season with the Vikings.
Still in good shape?
But this offseason has not been the easiest for the Vikings and the tailback. Trade talk aplenty followed around the superstar runner, with Dallas Cowboys in particular labelled as the most likely destination for Peterson pre-draft.
However, a trade deal for the runner was never formalised and he will almost certainly spend at least the 2015 season with the Vikings. Back in practice now, it seems that Peterson doesn't look at all like a player that has been away from the game for nine months, with Minnesota offensive coordinator Norv Turner explaining this week that the star is in great shape.
“I’ve been around a lot of these guys a lot of years and he’s one of the top guys I’ve been around,” Turner said Thursday, via 1500 ESPN Radio. “He just comes out and looks like he hasn’t missed a day.”
Back to his best?
Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn also agreed with Turner's assessment of Peterson's state of mind and body.
“He’d been out of football almost a whole year. A guy like him, though, I haven’t been around him a year, or six months, didn’t know if he’d come back in this type of shape. The guy is in unbelievable shape, like he hadn’t missed a step, and he’s out to prove a point.”