The injury adds yet another layer to Peterson's legendary performance coming off reconstructive knee surgery. A mainstay on the Vikings' injury report in December, Peterson reached his peak while playing through an abdominal muscle tear. It's an injury that makes it very difficult to maintain effectiveness at the highest level of professional football.
"It was mind over matter," Peterson said. "It was just about doing what I had to do to push myself every week. My body was sore from the game and the sports hernia every Monday, so I did what I had to do to recover and get my body right. I just played through the pain. I ran on adrenaline."
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Still, the pain was intense enough for Peterson to wonder whether he'd be capable of finishing the season.
"Against Houston (in Week 16), that was probably the worse I felt," Peterson said. "That was the first time that I really doubted myself and questioned whether I would be able to continue the season. The pain was a 10 on a scale of 10."
It's remarkable that Peterson managed to accomplish so much over the final part of the season while dealing with such a painful injury. To put the MVP's late-season performance in perspective, Peterson rushed for nearly the same amount of yards (1,598) over the final 10 games as Washington Redskins rookie Alfred Morris did (1,606) over the entire course of the season.