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Vinnie Sunseri's knee rehab as speedy as Adrian Peterson's

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Vinnie Sunseri has come back quickly from an ACL injury suffered in October.


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The record for recovery time from an ACL tear by a football player isn't exactly kept officially, but Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's turnaround from a Christmas Eve injury to a full recovery by the following fall is widely viewed as the new standard.

And Vinnie Sunseri believes he's matched it.

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The Alabama defensive back put a five-month-old ACL recovery on full display for NFL scouts Tuesday at Alabama's second pro-day workout, and he said scouts recorded 40-yard dash times of 4.48 and 4.52 at 209 pounds. He tore his ACL while playing against Arkansas last October. That means his surgery-to-first-game delay will be a couple months longer than Peterson's, assuming Sunseri's ready to open the NFL season. But Sunseri sounds like he'd be ready to play today if needed.

"My therapist, Kevin Wilk, has worked out a bunch of great players. The one person he worked out that I've tried to emulate is Adrian Peterson coming off his ACL," Sunseri said. "He worked out Adrian Peterson, he said I'm neck and neck with Adrian Peterson about how I came off surgery, how I've recovered. It was just an ACL, it wasn't a meniscus, or an MCL or any cartilage (damage). Clean tear, came back good, a great experience. I feel awesome."

Sunseri said he weighed in at 209 pounds Tuesday. The third-day draft prospect, who was a special-teams ace for Alabama along with his role at safety, believes his special-teams experience will give him an edge in landing an NFL roster spot.

"It's a big contributing factor to be able to come in and be able to play on every single special team," he said. "I was on kickoff, I was on punt return, kickoff return, and I could hold on field goals whenever they needed me to. Versatility is a big thing in the NFL, and I hope I look like a very versatile player."

And, by all indications, a completely healthy one.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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