NFL Network's LaDainian Tomlinson doesn't believe Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson should play Sunday, just nine months after he had surgery to repair torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee.
"I don't think he should play, however, he probably will play," Tomlinson, a former All-Pro running back, said on NFL Network's "First On The Field" on Sunday. "The thing you've got to watch for is how he's going to cut on this leg? The one thing people need to realize is, running backs get hit from all different angles. Sideways. From the bottom of the legs. Backwards. You just never know what kind of twists and turns this guy is going to have.
"They've made a huge investment in Adrian Peterson. I just don't think it's smart to rush him back out on the field."
Peterson has insisted he will be ready to go, though Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has maintained he would make a game-time decision. The Vikings announced Sunday that Peterson not only was active for the Jags game, but he would start.
Peterson's recovery time is nothing short of astounding, even for someone who attacked rehab with a maniacal focus. Still, is it in the Vikings' best interest to rush their $100 million franchise player even if Peterson says he's ready?
"Oh yeah, I'm going to have a word in it. Believe that," Peterson told The Star Tribune. "I will have my say."
Of course someone as competitive as Peterson would say so. It still doesn't necessarily make it the right decision. Backup Toby Gerhart has proven himself more than capable after rushing for 531 yards on a 4.9 yards-per-carry average in 2011.
Honestly, the Vikings aren't exactly Super Bowl contenders. Even a healthy Peterson doesn't make them one. Peterson will play in 2012, but does it have to be the opener against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that isn't exactly a heavyweight itself?
At this point, it seems Frazier is the only one who knows.
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @KareemCopeland.