Adrian Peterson still aiming for Week 1 return

Adrian Peterson will not play in preseason after all.

It’s the only decision that makes any sense.

He’s still on the fast track to recovery from a torn ACL and the Vikings are still aiming for the season opener for the return of the running back. But that isn’t a done deal yet. The good thing is Peterson is no longer on the physically unable to perform list, so his return should come early in the season barring a setback.

My goal is the same," Peterson said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I want to be out there for that first game. So we'll see. That's where my mindset is. It hasn't changed at all. I'd be cheating myself if I said it was, uh, 95 percent [probable] or 85 percent. That's not the way I think."

The staff remains impressed with how Peterson is performing in practice where he is off-limits to contact from teammates.

“Part of it is how he responds when some of the guys put a pad on him. How does he handle that?” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “And when bodies fall down in front of him, how does he handle that? Does he stop and plant like the Adrian of old or does he just come to a standstill where he's [vulnerable] to taking a really serious hit?"

“For the first time in our conversations, he kind of seemed like he understood (when he was told he wouldn’t play in preseason)," Frazier said. "He even used the word 'patience.' And I was like, 'Wow. Finally. It's clicking.' He's on board, everybody's on board. This is the right thing to do."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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