EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Adrian Peterson has been cleared for takeoff.
The reigning NFL MVP will make his preseason debut against the San Francisco 49ers this week, Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Sunday. Peterson sat out the first two games against Houston and Buffalo and hasn't played in an exhibition game since 2011. The Vikings held the star running back out of all four games in the preseason last year while he worked his way back from reconstructive surgery on his left knee.
Frazier wasn't ready to divulge how much Peterson will play, but his mere presence should be a boon to a starting offense that looked ragged in its first extensive playing time of the preseason in a 20-16 loss at Buffalo last week.
Peterson could have chosen to sit out the entire preseason for a second straight year, but Frazier said he wants to see Peterson out there next Sunday night, which will give coaches a chance to evaluate the offense as a complete unit.
"We want to be a balanced offense," Frazier said. "But as anyone that follows us knows, our offense is going to be run through No. 28, through Adrian."
Last summer, Peterson lobbied to get a little playing time so he could get back into a rhythm, but sitting all four games didn't hurt him one bit. He rushed for 2,097, nine yards shy of Eric Dickerson's single-season record, and 12 touchdowns, with eight runs of at least 40 yards in a jaw-dropping comeback season.
NOTES: Frazier said reserve DT Christian Ballard has been put on the active/left squad list. Ballard left the team for personal reasons last week. ... LT Matt Kalil (knee) and WR Jarius Wright (concussion) did not practice Sunday. Frazier said he didn't think either injury was serious. ... Rookie first-round pick Sharrif Floyd (knee) also did not practice and will be examined further on Tuesday.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press