Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson was honest about how fickle hamstring injuries can be throughout his recovery process.
The eight-time Pro Bowler suffered a hamstring injury in Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers that he thought was just a case of cramping. A later MRI showed he pulled his right hamstring, sending Peterson to the injured reserve list for a minimum of the following three games.
Peterson has not been activated off injured reserve. However, he has detailed his recovery process on the All Things Covered podcast and appears close to playing.
He posted a hype, entrance video on his Twitter account on Monday, hinting at a possible return in time for the Vikings’ Week 11 matchup with their rival Green Bay Packers.
And many fan reactions that followed shared the same statement: “He’s back.”
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Peterson Hopeful to Return
On the All Things Covered podcast Monday, Peterson spoke openly about how far he’s tested his hamstring approaching the first week he is eligible to be activated off the injured reserve list.
“Rehab has been going great,” Peterson said. “Been doing everything the team doctors have been telling me. Hopefully, I get cleared to come out and practice Wednesday and we go forward from there.”
Peterson has run up to 18 miles per hour, which he said was 70 percent of his top-end speed that he hopes to unleash on Sunday against the Packers.
“I haven’t kicked it in full gear just yet, but I did get it good enough that I had no complaints getting up to 17-18 miles per hour on land,” he added. “That’s a good speed, trying to figure out how the hamstring is going to hold up.”
His co-host and cousin, former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden, optimistically asked when Peterson plays Sunday, will he be on a pitch count. Keyword: when.
“None of that has been discussed with me, but I’m the type of guy, but when I’m out there, I’m out there,” Peterson replied conditionally, making no certainty that he will play Sunday. “I’m going to have to get pulled off unless I can’t go anymore. If I am fortunate enough to play Sunday, I’m going to be out there.”
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Entering the 2021 season, Peterson had never missed a game due to injury.
He played in all 16 games in every season since 2011 besides 2019, when he was suspended six games due to violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He has played the most snaps of any active cornerback in the NFL.
Recovering from injury has been an entirely new process for Peterson, who has taken the process in stride.
“The doc told me I’m going to miss a month and I’m like ‘I’ve never had this conversation before,’ ” Peterson said on the All Things Covered podcast on Oct. 18. “It was real tough, receiving that news, but in my mind, I’m thinking like ‘Nah, to hell with that. I’m going to get some good treatment. I’m going to be rehabbing around the clock.’ ”
Peterson likely protested going on the injured reserve list and believed he could hasten his recovery. However, he showed a change in perspective that his hiatus on the injured reserve list was to protect him and the team’s prospects for the final stretch of the schedule.
“They told me, ‘You’re a valuable asset to this team we’re going to need you for the run,’ ” Peterson said. “Hearing that, it kind of made me feel more at ease knowing how the team values me. Just want to put myself and the team in the best possible position by being smart and by being ready for the Green Bay game.”