|National Football League|
Peterson ready, but will Vikings let him loose?
By DAVE CAMPBELL
MANKATO, Minn. (AP) Adrian Peterson has one speed: full.
But the Minnesota Vikings are likely going to try to make him find a lower gear the next few weeks.
Peterson reported to training camp Thursday with the rest of his teammates at Minnesota State University, with the first practice set for Friday. The Vikings were still in the process of determining how much activity they'll immediately allow Peterson, who is seven months out from reconstructive surgery on his left knee to repair torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.
Coach Leslie Frazier planned an evening discussion with Peterson and the team's medical staff to formulate a plan.
"He'll at least be out there doing something," Frazier said.
He could, however, be placed on the physically unable to perform list. There's no downside for the Vikings in doing that, since he can be taken off at any time during camp. The hard part would be keeping Peterson happy.
"I'm going to try to fight against it so I can get out there and be involved," he said. "But ultimately I know these guys are going to do what's best for this team."
Which includes being cautious with their franchise player ahead of the Sept. 9 season opener, which Peterson has steadfastly maintained he'll be ready for.
"It feels good just to be around the guys and be around everyone who has supported me through this process, and even more importantly it's going to feel good to be able to participate and do some things with the guys," Peterson said. "So I'm just excited to be here. I'm excited to get things going."
Peterson also faces an Aug. 6 hearing in Houston on a resisting arrest charge for an alleged closing-time scuffle with police at a nightclub. Unless there's a settlement, he'll probably have to miss a day of practice to be there.
"That's something I'm letting my attorney handle. I'll know when that time comes around, so hopefully it gets dismissed," Peterson said.
Since his arrest, Peterson has been even more adamant about his innocence than he has that he'll be ready for the start of the season.
"I haven't lost any sleep or anything over it. I know in due time things will get handled and justice will be served. It was an unfortunate situation, but I feel like everything will work itself out," he said.
He's confident he'll be acquitted, if the charge isn't first dropped?
"Two-hundred percent," Peterson said. "I'm confident, man. Wrong is wrong and right is right, and I did nothing wrong in this situation. Ultimately that'll be shown."
First-round draft pick Matt Kalil signed in the morning, completing the contracts for the rookie class and ensuring the entire roster's on-time arrival. Wide receiver Percy Harvin, who stirred up an otherwise-quiet minicamp last month with his vague expression of discontent and subsequent trade request, didn't speak to reporters but arrived with a smile on his face as he raced around trying to find his rental bike and get to the first team meeting.
Frazier said he feels good about "where things are with Percy" after "some good conversations over the summer," including an impromptu chat Wednesday when they both showed up at the same barbershop for a pre-camp cut.
"Everybody seems to be in the right frame of mind, including Percy," said Frazier, wearing a max-relax outfit of lavender golf shirt, white cargo shorts, sandals and ball cap. "It's exciting."
So, just like the other 31 NFL teams, the Vikings packed optimism in their luggage along with the clean clothes and shaving kits.
"This is a very fluid league in the way things are," Frazier said. "The teams that are sometimes favored don't always end up being the favorites at the end of the year, and teams that are counted out are sometimes the teams that flip the script a little bit or are in places most people don't expect before the season began. Not to say that's going to be us."
But he'd sure like it to be them.
"If we make the necessary improvement and we can come together as a team, we feel like our chances are as good as anybody's," Frazier said.
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Updated July 26, 2012