Jerick McKinnon wants to start if A.P. doesn't return

Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman continues to state that he wants Adrian Peterson back in 2015. But let's say, for the sake of argument, that a team blows him out of the water with a trade offer. Where will the Vikes turn then in the backfield?

They could select one in a deep draft. First, though, Jerick McKinnon would like a shot at the gig.

"If A.P. comes back, there's no doubt he's going to be the starter," McKinnon told the Pioneer Press this week. "But it's not going to change my mind-set or how I approach things or how I work. Whatever they do, my mind-set is to come in and be that guy next year."

The 22-year-old showed flashes of promise with a quick burst during his rookie campaign. However, his season ended prior to Week 13 and he was place on the injured reserve list with a back injury. McKinnon finished with 538 yards on 113 carries, for a 4.8 yards per tote average.

The running back underwent surgery in December and said he's fully recovered.

"There's no doubt in my mind I can last the season," McKinnon said. "If that's something I have to prove, that's not a big deal for me. I'll prove it this year. I'm just really excited to get back out there with my teammates and coaches and show how far I've come since surgery."

We still believe that Peterson will return to Minnesota as the workhorse runner. If the story changes, however, the Vikings might need to turn to McKinnon and Matt Asiata once again until they figure out a long-term solution.

If McKinnon gets his way, he'd be that long-term choice.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast makes some bold free agency predictions and discusses Adrian Peterson's future. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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