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Adrian Peterson 'itching' to play in preseason games

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Adrian Peterson has not had a carry in a preseason game since 2011. The Minnesota Vikings' star running back says it's time for that to change.

"I feel like getting out there and playing a little bit," Peterson said in a phone interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "It's something that once that time comes around, I'll have a better feel for, like, 'Hey, I need to get out there just to kind of get the legs moving and get the pads (on) a little bit.' I can tell you, though, I'm definitely more itching towards playing a little more in the preseason than I have the past seven, eight years."

Since Peterson tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee in December 2011, the team has exercised caution in order to prevent the running back from suffering another devastating injury in exhibition play.

Peterson missed 15 games of the 2014 season due to a child-abuse charge and made his return to the field in the Vikings' 2015 season opener. Peterson had a mere 10 carries for 31 yards in Minnesota's 20-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

"Well, to be honest with you, I think in last year's case, after sitting out a year, it would have helped a little bit (playing in the preseason)," Peterson said. "But I think like (10) carries against San Francisco, that's not going to allow your best player to get off to a great start anyway. ... I am calling for (playing in the 2016 preseason)."

We'll see if Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and Co. answer Peterson's call come August.

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