The Minnesota Vikings have Adrian Peterson back and he is set to start for the team ahead of Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata in the offense for Teddy Bridgewater and this comes as Mike Wallace likely will help take the pressure off Cordarrelle Patterson as Norv Turner tries to improve the passing game for Mike Zimmer this season.
The Vikings are coming into the season after laying a solid foundation last year despite Peterson being out for 15 games while dealing with his legal issues off the field. The team found a quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater and he had a solid rookie season and now he comes into year two with an improved offensive unit. Peterson played in only one game last season so adding him is a major boost and the team also brought in Mike Wallace in a trade with the Dolphins to help the passing offense.
Mike Zimmer said to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that Peterson is not showing "any rust" since coming back to the team in OTAs and that he expects him to carry the usual workload this season. There is a chance that the team limits Peterson's carries a bit to start the season, as he missed nearly the entire year in 2014. Having McKinnon and Asiata coming back after having to start last year gives the team some much needed depth and with Peterson getting older, it could be a big advantage for the team overall.
The team appeared willing to use McKinnon and Asiata again if Peterson held out or wanted a trade, but now that is off the table and those two players have experience as top backs for the Vikings. Vikings RBs coach Kirby Wilson said the team may "monitor" Peterson's snap counts this season, but said that they are not looking to take away his usual amount of touches. Peterson is 30 now and while he missed the bumps and bruises of 2014, the team has to be careful with the aging back.
Peterson comes in after rushing for just 75 yards in one game last season, but over the previous two years he showed no signs of slowing down as he got older. Peterson scored 22 touchdowns in the previous two years before last season and he rushed for over 3200 yards in that span, including 2097 in 2012. McKinnon had a solid season last year and having him and Asiata behind Peterson gives Turner some versatility and depth at the position.
Bridgewater comes in after competing 64 percent of his passes last season in 13 games and that is something to build on for Turner this season. Bridgewater should be better in year two after getting Wallace and the addition of him at WR should help Cordarrelle Patterson after he had a bit of a sophomore slump. Patterson decreased his total catches, yards and TDs from his rookie season and bringing in Wallace should help the offense be more explosive. Wallace said he is excited to be in an offense that is better suited to his talents and he could make up for the trade of Percy Harvin, which the Vikings never really recovered from.