The Minnesota Vikings have activated Adrian Peterson ahead of Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, meaning he will definitely play. In a corresponding move, the team waived Toby Johnson.
We activated @AdrianPeterson from IR and waived Toby Johnson.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 17, 2016
It’s not surprising that Minnesota activated Peterson. Without consulting the team, he made an announcement on Friday that he would be playing — a move that reportedly did not sit well with the Vikings (more on that here). Regardless, after he let the cat out of the bag, the team was almost obligated to follow through.
There has been a bit of upheaval offensively since Peterson last took the field with the Vikings in Week 2. Since then, Norv Turner resigned his post as offensive coordinator, and now Pat Shurmur runs the show. When asked about the change, Peterson did say the terminology is different.
“But outside of that, when you have a different offensive coordinator, they have a little different approach, so the meeting room is different as well,” Peterson added, via the team website. “But outside of that, we’re still pretty much the same offense that we had previously, just with some new twists.”
Before getting injured, Peterson struggled to produce running behind Minnesota’s porous offensive line. That line is in even worse shape now after injuries ravaged the team’s talent and depth, and Peterson is coming off knee surgery.
It is going to be fascinating to see how much his presence in the lineup will help Minnesota’s offense in the final three weeks of the season.
One of the NFL’s most prolific running backs the past 20 years, Peterson’s return could potentially pave the way for Minnesota to earn a playoff berth. With a record of 7-6, the Vikings are currently the No. 8 seed in the NFC, one game behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and two games behind the New York Giants.