Adrian Peterson is back -- officially.
The Vikings' star running back is active for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts. Defensive tackle Toby Johnson was waived Saturday after Minnesota officially activated Peterson off injured reserve. Minnesota was planning on Peterson returning in Week 16, but a source informed told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that at practice this week "he looks like Adrian. He's amazing."
Per Rapoport, Peterson also will be starting the game. Rapoport added that while Vikings won't have a snap count for their star running back, they don't want to run him into the ground in his return.
The 10-year veteran could be a breath of fresh air for a rapidly-stalling Vikings offense. The team is currently 24th in points, 31st in total yards, and 32nd in rushing yards. Peterson had 50 yards on 31 carries through two games this season before placing him on injured reserve in late September. While their banged-up offensive line is a source of many woes, Peterson is one of the few players in football who can negate deficiencies up front.
The Vikings (7-6) are well aware that they have to win out to keep their lofty playoff goals alive -- a road that starts this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts. Peterson certainly cannot hurt those chances, and has already moved his return date up a week. His original expectation was to be back for next weekend's matchup against the division-rival Packers.