Minnesota Vikings: Offensive Base Is in Place Despite Adrian Peterson’s Injury

The Minnesota Vikings couldn’t have had a much worse season in 2011. even after the early season demise of Donovan McNabb and the franchise’s 3-13 record, things were still looking okay until Adrian Peterson suffered a severe knee injury that could affect his play for the rest of his career.

Peterson is the best running back in the NFL, largely due to his violent style. he runs more aggressively and with greater determination than any other back throughout all 32 franchises, punishing defenders more than they punish him.

His torn ACL is a severe injury that could have long-term effects on his level of play, but there are positives working in his favor.

Speaking from personal experience, having torn my own ACL in 2009, recovery from a torn ACL is determined by a couple of factors. like all physical injuries, it is easier to recover with youth on your side. at 26, Peterson isn’t exactly a child but he is nowhere near too old to get back from this.

The other two factors are what will really make fans optimistic.

An ACL injury, factors in around nine months of rehab, generally, it is something that can be worked on repeatedly to get strengthen and prevent further injury while also returning to full health for the short-term. Peterson’s determination and work rate is unquestioned, the franchise will have no worries about him giving himself every possible chance to return to full fitness.

Finally, once fully recovered, Peterson can control the pressure that is put on his fixed ligament by building the strength around the knee. Greater quad and hamstring strength alleviates the strain on the knee. last time I checked, Peterson’s strength in his quads, and basically all over his body, was almost the stuff of legends.

With Peterson returning to even 70 percent of his previous level of play, he will be more than a competent NFL running back.

What the Vikings need to do, is maintain the balance that is becoming their depth chart on offense. The talent of the Vikings’ offense isn’t overwhelming, but the pieces are in place for the team to excel next season.

Christian Ponder wasn’t Cam Newton as a rookie, but he was far from Ryan Leaf, playing in a difficult situation.

The Vikings offense was hurt by a lack of quality role players and offensive line play. Peterson was his usual dominant self, and Toby Gerhart proved to be a solid backup, but Percy Harvin had little threats around him as far as receivers go and the offensive line was average at best.

Kyle Rudolph proved himself to be a talented rookie, but wasn’t a constant piece of the offense, while Visanthe Shiancoe’s production fell for the fourth year running.

Rudolph should prove to be an important piece for Ponder, not only next season, but throughout his career as he has all the attributes of an elite two way tight end. His huge hands allow him to catch the ball like a receiver while his athleticism makes him a matchup nightmare and reliable blocker.

Percy Harvin proved himself capable of being a number one receiver after playing his first two seasons with talented receivers taking coverage away from him.

The Vikings’ biggest offensive need is at left tackle. if they can come away from the NFL draft with Matt Kalil, their offensive line will be in much better shape than last season. The other line positions can be filled with role players, but Charlie Johnson is definitely not the long-term solution in Minnesota protecting Ponder’s blindside.

While the Vikings’ defense does need a lot of work to be relevant once again, the offense can easily be fixed with only a few minor additions because of the cornerstones already in place.

Minnesota Vikings: Offensive Base Is in Place Despite Adrian Peterson’s Injury

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