Adrian Peterson as the Incredible Hulk? That’s what his Minnesota Vikings teammates are hoping to see from the All-Pro running back in Week 1 when they hit the road to take on the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.
Peterson plays more like the Juggernaut—an unstoppable force when he gets moving—but the Hulk nickname is apparently one of his own making. The guys had been going around naming which superhero they’d like to be, if such a thing were possible.
“We were joking around and he said he wanted to be the Incredible Hulk,” said running back Matt Asiata, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.
This isn’t a new thing for Peterson, who, as Tomasson noted, went to a 2012 Halloween party dressed as The Hulk, green paint and all.
Here's a 2012 picture of Adrian Peterson as The Incredible Hulk. Told teammates he wants to be the Hulk. http://t.co/9qeDJMMIfq
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) September 11, 2015
God knows, “All Day” has the muscles to pull off the role.
It remains to be seen if he will be able to abuse San Francisco’s run defense like The Hulk abuses bad guys this Monday night. The 49ers only allowed 3.4 yards per carry this preseason, and the team’s front seven is still formidable, despite some big losses this past offseason.
Regardless of how good the 49ers may or may not be, it might not matter. Peterson has been away from the game for almost an entire year after missing 15 games last season, and he’s raring to go.
“I imagine it will be like the Hulk or something because he hasn’t played in a whole year, and we all know Adrian is a beast,” said wide receiver Jarius Wright. “I imagine he can run wild. I know he’s definitely ready to run, and you could tell in practice he’s ready to go.”
Peterson isn’t as eager to provide bulletin-board material for San Francisco’s defense as his teammates appear to be, but he does admit it’s hard to keep his emotions in check.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. But, “I’m trying to keep it inside and not get too excited. It’s hard.”
The Vikings and 49ers will cap off an eventful Week 1 in the late game on Monday night, which airs on ESPN beginning at 10:20 p.m. ET.