The most indestructible force I've ever seen -- not just in football, but all sports -- was Earl Campbell in his prime.
Unfortunately, that prime was short-lived. Or perhaps, it was merely his misfortune to have played running back. He was hurt in his fifth season, and basically done by his seventh.
Big guys make big targets. Don't ask me. Ask the Hall of Famers who weren't ...
So does Terrell Davis. Two thousand yards in 1998. Two hundred in '99. Never played another full season.
Shaun Alexander also ran his team to a Super Bowl. Twenty-eight touchdowns in '05. Twelve the rest of his career.
For running backs, greatness is a perishable commodity. There is not much difference between being hurt ... and being done.
Hence, running back by committee. And my argument -- not entirely facetious -- that backs should form their own union. Management routinely bets time over talent. Injury over promise. Reality over fantasy.
On Christmas Eve, Adrian Peterson tore his ACL and his MCL. The surgery was declared a success. Isn't it always? He said he'd be back for the opener. Don't they always? Better than ever.
C'mon. Peterson's from Palestine, Texas, an hour south of Earl Campbell. Kid should know better, right?
Apparently not. He's already got 1,100 yards. Almost six yards a carry in that violent, galloping style.
This isn't a comeback season. It's a career one.
Seven touchdowns. Fantasy owners love him, of course.
And Earl Campbell? I bet this was his fantasy, too.
Follow Mark Kriegel on Twitter @MarkKriegel.