The Vikings would welcome Adrian Peterson back with open arms, but it's not like they're desperately waiting for him to walk through that door.
As NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted Sunday morning on NFL GameDay First, the Vikings football staff wants Peterson to return next year, a decision that Peterson is still weighing himself (Rapoport reported that A.P. isn't sure if Minnesota is the right climate for him to come back and play). But in the meantime, Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph seemed to capture the sentiment of the team as a whole, especially after two consecutive wins.
"I think (I) can speak for everyone on the team when I say that we would welcome him back and be excited to have him back," Rudolph told NFL Media's Albert Breer. "At the same time, last week, we were coming off back-to-back wins and rolling offensively, so I don't think anyone was waiting for him to come through that door. ... Everyone has done a great job when some of the things get out there, not letting it affect us. We can't get too excited."
It seems like the right attitude, especially since, as Rapoport said, there are few around Peterson who expect him to win his appeal -- set for Dec. 2 -- of a season-long suspension that was handed down last week. Peterson, who Rapoport notes will participate in his hearing, will mount a defense based around the fact that his infractions occurred before the NFL's new personal-conduct policy was established, per Rapoport.
In short, don't expect to see Peterson until he can be considered for reinstatement April 15, 2015.
At that point, Peterson will have missed a chunk of free agency. The Vikings could be an entirely different team by then.