Adrian Peterson wants to practice, wants to get in games, wants to get that surgically repaired knee hit.
“I’ve thought about (getting hit),” the Vikings running back said, “and I’m ready.”
It won’t happen this weekend, of course.
The Vikings leave Minnesota today for the first preseason game of the season in San Francisco. Peterson, who remains on the physically unable to perform list, will stay back and continue to work out that left knee, which he injured in a game last December.
Peterson said he’s itching to practice with his teammates and planned to talk more with coach Leslie Frazier about that on Wednesday night. If he’s cleared before training camp ends, he will have four more days of practice at Minnesota State, beginning Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to being out here pretty soon,” he said. “I’ve been off about two weeks, so it’s time to get going. I know that they understand that. They been watching; they’ve been getting good feedback. I’m sure they’re probably as excited as I am.”
Frazier, however, would not give a timetable for Peterson’s full return but said the player is on board with the plan.
The coach said he would like to get Peterson in a preseason game, especially if the team is projecting him to play in the regular-season opener on Sept. 9 against Jacksonville.
“There’s no indication that he wouldn’t be (ready),” Frazier said. “He’s right on point, but I say that without him ever participating in a drill with his teammates. All the things he’s done on the side he’s looked very, very good, but we still have some more steps to take.”
Peterson said getting some snaps in preseason games would be a good test for his knee, maybe more so than practice.
“Anytime that you’re out there and going full speed and competing you have a chance to get better,” he said. “You know, getting those snaps in. It’s a game, guys are bringing you down, tackling you to the ground. It will help.”
There was a little bit of jawing and some pushing and shoving after a collision between receiver Percy Harvin and rookie safety Harrison Smith after a full-team play on Wednesday afternoon.
Words were exchanged and receiver Jerome Simpson pushed Smith away before more players got into the pile and quickly broke things up.
Smith brushed off the incident.
“It’s football,” he said. “I was just being aggressive. It’s an aggressive sport played by aggressive people.”
Asked about needing to play against another opponent, Smith said that’s part of it.
“After awhile, you get sick of competing against each other. You’re supposed to be teammates, but you want to hit someone.”
Peterson, who was in Houston on Monday for a court hearing regarding last month’s resisting arrest charges, said that will be the only time he misses. He said he is not required to return to Texas for the next scheduled hearings on Sept. 27 and Nov. 15.
“I feel we’re really in a good position right now,” he said. “The most important thing is no more interruptions. It won’t interfere with what’s going on with the Minnesota Vikings and my team.”
Besides Peterson, Frazier said the following injured players will not make the trip to San Francisco: safety Robert Blanton (hamstring), tight end John Carlson (knee), receiver Kamar Jorden (hand), tackle DeMarcus Love (shoulder), guard Geoff Schwartz (sports hernia surgery), running back Jordan Todman (ankle) and corner back Josh Robinson (hamstring).
Robinson said on Tuesday that he was feeling better, but Frazier wants to be cautious.
“We want to be certain that he can burst, so we want to give him a few more days,” Frazier said. “He can probably get through, but that’s not what we want him to do is (just) get through at this point.”
Quarterback Christian Ponder struggled in 11-on-11 play Wednesday, tossing two interceptions, one to linebacker Chad Greenway and one to defensive back Zackary Bowman. Greenway also batted down a Ponder pass on the play after his interception. ... Frazier said the players got a bit of a morale boost when they were told Wednesday’s practices would be done without pads. The coaches announced that on Tuesday night. ... Training camp is closed for the next three days, and the Vikings’ next practice in Mankato is scheduled for 10:55 a.m. Sunday.