Peterson, now more than four months removed from ACL and MCL surgery, worked out for Minnesota media on Wednesday. He was seen running without a brace on his knee. (Behold: Footage, courtesy of Tom Pelissero of ESPN1500.com.)
"We will be realistic with his expectation. ... Iâm not going to say with certainty that heâs going to play game one," Sugarman said.
Peterson estimated that he's only "50 percent" back to where he wants to be in terms of explosiveness and cutting ability. But he pointed out that he's been ahead of schedule with his rehabilitation since Day One.
"That first game against Jacksonville, I plan on being back and it will be disappointing if Iâm not," Peterson said.
The Vikings have to be careful. Peterson has a chance to be one of the all-time greats and this isn't a season during which Minnesota will be contending for a championship. It's more important to preserve his long-term health for the seasons the Vikings are relevant again.
In the meantime, there's always Toby Gerhart.