Peterson in 2010
|No. 28 Minnesota Vikings|
|Date of birth:||March 21, 1985|
|Place of birth:||Palestine, Texas|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||220 lb (100 kg)|
|High school:||Palestine (TX)|
|NFL Draft:||2007 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7|
|Roster status:||Injured reserve|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2016|
Adrian Lewis Peterson (born March 21, 1985) is an American football running back for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Vikings seventh overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football at Oklahoma. Peterson set the NCAA freshman rushing record with 1,925 yards as a true freshman during the 2004 season. As a unanimous first-team All-American, he became the first freshman to finish as the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Peterson finished his college football career as the Sooners' third all-time leading rusher.
Following his first pro season, in which he set an NFL record for most rushing yards in a single game (296), Peterson was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was then awarded the MVP award for his performance in the Pro Bowl and became only the fifth player in NFL history to have more than 3,000 yards through his first two seasons. In 2010, he became the fifth fastest player to run for 5,000 yards, doing so in his 51st game.
In 2012, Peterson became the sixth fastest player to reach 8,000 rushing yards, ending the season with 2,097 rushing yards, just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's single season all-time record. Peterson amassed 2,314 all-purpose yards from scrimmage in 2012, tying Marcus Allen for the eighth-highest total ever. For his efforts, he received the NFL MVP Award and the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award for the 2012 NFL season. Peterson also achieved the No. 1 spot on the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2013. During the 2013 season, Peterson became the third fastest player to reach 10,000 rushing yards in NFL history.
Peterson was indicted in September 2014 by a Montgomery County grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child that occurred in May 2014. In February 2015, Peterson was reinstated to the league after U.S. District Court Judge David Doty ruled in the NFL Players Association's lawsuit against the NFL on Peterson's behalf.
- 1 Early years
- 2 High school career
- 3 College career
- 4 Professional career
- 4.1 2007 NFL Draft
- 4.2 2007: Rookie year
- 4.3 2008 season
- 4.4 2009 season
- 4.5 2010 season
- 4.6 2011 season
- 4.7 2012: MVP year
- 4.8 2013 season
- 4.9 2014 season
- 4.10 2015 season
- 4.11 2016 season
- 4.12 NFL records and other accomplishments
- 4.13 Vikings franchise records
- 4.14 Pro Bowl records
- 4.15 Career statistics
- 5 Personal life
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Peterson was born in Palestine, Texas, to Bonita Brown and Nelson Peterson, who were also star athletes in college. His father was a shooting guard for Idaho, but his dream of a National Basketball Association career was derailed when a gun that his brother was cleaning discharged into his leg. His mother, a three-time Texas state champion at Westwood High School, attended the University of Houston on an athletic scholarship as a sprinter and long jumper. Peterson's best friend was his older brother Brian. Peterson's father nicknamed him "All Day," because his father said he could go all day.
At age 7, Peterson saw his 9-year-old brother Brian killed by a drunk driver as he rode his bicycle. It was around that time that Peterson began to deal with his pain through sports and became interested in football. He was the star of his youth football teams coached by Rick Nally. Coach Nally stated that at that early age," we would watch AD play in the NFL one day". His father Nelson participated as an Assistant Coach. Peterson played in the popular East Texas, Anderson County Youth Football Program. When Peterson was 13, his father was arrested for laundering money for a crack cocaine ring.
High school career
Peterson was a three-sport standout in football, basketball and track at Palestine High School. Peterson was most notable in football, which he played during his junior and senior years. During his sophomore year, he was not eligible to play for the Palestine High varsity football team. Peterson's 2002–2003 campaign as a junior ended with 2,051 yards on 246 carries, an average of 8.3 yards per carry, and 22 touchdowns. It was during his junior year that he began to attract the attention of Division I recruiters and realized he would likely have his pick of colleges after his senior year.
As a senior in 2003, he rushed for 2,960 yards on 252 attempts, an average of 11.7 yards per carry, and 32 touchdowns. After a game, players from the other team asked for his autograph. Following Maurice Clarett's unsuccessful attempt to sue the NFL over its age limit in 2004, there was considerable debate over whether any high school football player might be able to make the leap from the preps to the pro game. The player most frequently mentioned was Peterson.
Track and field
Peterson followed in his mother's footsteps to excel in track & field at Woodward, where he won several medals in events such as the 100 meters, 200 meters, triple jump and long jump. Peterson's coach has stated that he believes that, had he not chosen a career in football, Peterson could have become an Olympic sprinter instead. He recorded a wind-legal time of 10.26 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the 2002 District 15-4A Championships, where he took first by a large margin. He also posted a wind-assisted time of 10.33 seconds in the 100 meters at the 2003 State Track Meet, where he earned a second-place finish behind world-class sprinter Ivory Williams. At the 2004 District 14-4A Championships, Peterson ran the second leg on the Palestine 4 × 100 m relay squad, helping lead them to victory with a time of 41.50 seconds. Peterson has stated that his personal-best times are 10.19 seconds in the 100 meters, 21.23 seconds in the 200 meters and 47.6 seconds in the 400 meters.
Regarded as a five-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, Peterson was listed as the No. 1 running back and overall prospect in the class of 2004 by Rivals.com. After considering schools such as Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Arkansas, and Miami, he decided that he wanted to go to a school where he could be a difference-maker in a national championship run and narrowed his choices down to USC and Oklahoma. Concluding his high school football career at the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he led the West squad with 95 yards on 9 carries and scored 2 touchdowns, and announced at the game that he would attend college at Oklahoma. Following his senior season, he was awarded the Hall Trophy as the U.S. Army National Player of the Year. In addition, he was named the top high school player by College Football News and Rivals.com.
|Name||Home town||High school / college||Height||Weight||40‡||Commit date|
|Palestine, Texas||Palestine High School||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)||210 lb (95 kg)||4.4||Jan 3, 2004|
|Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 5|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 1 (RB) Rivals: 1 (RB), 1 (Texas), 1 National|
Peterson attended the University of Oklahoma, where he played for coach Bob Stoops' Oklahoma Sooners football team from 2004 to 2006. During his freshman season at Oklahoma, Peterson broke several NCAA freshman rushing records, rushing for 1,925 yards and leading the nation in carries with 339. In each of the first nine games of the season, he rushed for more than 100-yards, which is a freshman record. He rushed for 100 yards in the season opener against Bowling Green, 117 yards against Houston, 183 yards against Oregon, 146 yards against Texas Tech, 225 yards against Texas, 130 yards against Kansas State, and 122 yards against Kansas.
Against Oklahoma State on October 30, 2004, Peterson had an 80-yard touchdown run and rushed for 161 yards in the third quarter, finishing with a career-high 249 yards. Despite dislocating his left shoulder in the first half, he managed to run for 101 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, his ninth straight 100-yard game, against Texas A&M. In the next game, he saw little action because of his shoulder injury and finished with 58 yards, which ended his streak of consecutive games with at least 100 yards rushing at 9. In a game versus Baylor, Peterson ran for 240 yards, including three second-half touchdowns, and set the NCAA record for most 100-yard games by a freshman with 11 against Colorado. Oklahoma, who were one of the poorest rushing teams the year before, became one of the nation’s best.
Despite his record-breaking season, he finished second to USC quarterback Matt Leinart in the Heisman Trophy voting. Among other honors, he was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, and the first Oklahoma freshman recognized as a First-Team Associated Press All-American. Peterson contributed to a perfect regular season for the Oklahoma Sooners and participated in the 2005 BCS National Championship Game with a berth to the 2005 Orange Bowl against USC Trojans. USC retooled their defense to stop Peterson and limited him to just 82 yards, as the Trojans defeated the Sooners, 55–19. USC later vacated the win due to NCAA infractions. After the season, he had surgery on his left shoulder to strengthen the muscles around the joint.
|Finalist||First place votes
(3 pts. each)
|Second place votes
(2 pts. each)
|Third place votes
(1 pt. each)
In 2005, Peterson's playing time was limited by a broken foot. He injured his ankle in the first Big 12 Conference game of the season against Kansas State. Despite missing time in four games, he rushed for 1,208 yards and 14 touchdowns on 220 carries, finishing second in Big 12 rushing yardage. His 2005 season was also notable for a career-long 84-yard touchdown run against Oklahoma State. Oklahoma finished the season with an 8–4 record, the worst season since 1999. They finished third in the Big 12 behind the Texas Longhorns and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Sooners would represent the Big 12 in the Holiday Bowl where they defeated the sixth-ranked Oregon Ducks, 17–14. On July 11, 2007, the NCAA announced the Sooners would have to vacate all victories from the 2005 season, including the bowl game, due to NCAA violations; however, the decision was partially overturned in February 2008, and the NCAA reinstated the Sooners' 8–4 record from the season. Upon the conclusion of the season, he was named a member of the All-Big 12 Conference team.
Peterson's father, Nelson Peterson, was released from prison during the 2006 college football season and was able to watch his son as a spectator for the first time on October 14, 2006, when Oklahoma played Iowa State. Oklahoma defeated Iowa State in that game; however, on the final drive for the Sooners, Peterson broke his collar bone when he dove into the end zone on a 53-yard touchdown run. During a press conference on October 18, Peterson said he was told by doctors to expect to be out for 4–6 weeks. At the time of the injury, Peterson needed only to gain 150 yards to pass Billy Sims as the University of Oklahoma's all-time leading rusher. He was unable to return for the rest of the Sooners' regular season and missed seven games. The Sooners would turn to Allen Patrick, a junior, and Chris Brown, a freshman to replace Peterson. The team went on a seven-game winning streak including winning the Big 12 Championship game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He returned for their last game against Boise State in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, where he rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown. He refused to discuss his plans beyond the end of this season with the press. He concluded his college football career with 1,112 rushing yards his final season, even after missing multiple games due to injury for a total of 4,245 rushing yards (only three seasons). He was 73 yards short of passing Billy Sims as Oklahoma's all-time leading rusher.
2007 NFL Draft
On January 15, 2007, Peterson declared that he would forgo his senior year of college and enter the 2007 NFL Draft. Coming into the league, he was known as a tall, upright runner possessing a rare combination of speed, strength, agility, size, and vision, along with a highly aggressive running style. His rare talent as both a great breakaway and power runner has often raised comparisons to past legends, including Eric Dickerson, Walter Payton, Gale Sayers, O. J. Simpson, Franco Harris and Jim Brown. Concerns about his injuries suffered during college were noted by the media and potential NFL teams. He started 22 out of 31 games in his college career and had a dislocated shoulder his first year (although he did not miss any games), a high ankle sprain his sophomore year, and a broken collarbone his final year at Oklahoma. His durability was a consideration for at least two teams in their draft analysis, which impacted selection position. Prior to the 2007 NFL Draft, Peterson was compared by professional football scouts to Eric Dickerson. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. said of Peterson, "You can make the argument, [Peterson] is the best player in this draft, if not, certainly one of the top three."
|Peterson's NFL Combine workout|
|Peterson gets drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2007 NFL Draft|
|Ht||Wt||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 1½ in||217 lb||4.40 s||1.53 s||2.58 s||4.40 s||7.09 s||38.5 in||10 ft 7 in|
|All values from NFL Combine|
At the NFL Combine, Peterson measured in at 6’1½” and 217 pounds; he was clocked between 4.38 and 4.40 seconds in the 40-yard dash, had a vertical jump of 38.5 inches (0.98m) and performed well in positional drills. He solidified his status as a likely top-10 pick in the draft, arguably revealing more about his mental toughness than any psychological test or team interview could.
On April 28, 2007, Peterson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Peterson was the first running back selected during the year's draft. At a press conference during the draft, Peterson announced, "My collarbone, I would say it's 90% healed. A lot of teams know that, and I don't see it stopping me from being prepared for the season."
Peterson believed he was a player that a franchise could build around. In an interview with IGN following the NFL Draft, he said, "I'm a player who is coming in with the determination to turn a team around. I want to help my team get to the playoffs, win...and run wild. I want to bring people to the stands. I want people to come to the game to see what I can do next. Things like that can change the whole attitude of an organization. I want to win." He later told the Star Tribune in an interview, "I want to be the best player to ever play this game." Nearly three months after being drafted, he was signed by the Vikings on July 29, 2007. His contract was worth US$40.5 million over six years, with $17 million guaranteed.
2007: Rookie year
Peterson began his outstanding rookie season with high expectations for himself; he announced ambitious goals including being named Offensive Rookie of the Year and rushing for over 1,300 yards during the course of the year. The NFL's rushing record for a rookie is held by Eric Dickerson at 1,808 yards. Just 11 weeks into his rookie season with the Vikings, Peterson was well on his way to Dickerson's record and considered one of the elite running backs in the NFL.
On August 10, Peterson made his professional debut in a preseason game against the St. Louis Rams. Peterson ran for 33 yards on 11 carries with 1 catch for 2 yards. On September 9, 2007, Peterson ran for 103 yards on 19 carries in his first NFL regular season game against the Atlanta Falcons. In addition to his rushing yardage, he scored his first professional football touchdown on a 60-yard pass reception. Over his first three regular season games, his 431 yards (271 rushing & 160 receiving) from scrimmage are a team record. For his performance during the three games, Peterson received the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month award for both September and October 2007.
His breakout game as a professional came on October 14, 2007 against the Chicago Bears, highlighted by a three-touchdown performance and a then-franchise record of 224 yards rushing on 20 carries. Peterson established additional team records for a rookie during this game, which included the most 100-yard games rushing and the longest touchdown run from scrimmage. He also set an NFL rookie record with 361 all-purpose yards in a single game. His 607 rushing yards through the first five games of the season is second in NFL history to Eric Dickerson. Following Peterson's record performance, Deion Sanders, now an NFL Network analyst, said about him: "He has the vision of a Marshall Faulk, the power of an Earl Campbell, and the speed of an Eric Dickerson. Let's pray he has the endurance of an Emmitt Smith." He has also been compared to Walter Payton and Tony Dorsett by Star Tribune sports journalist Jim Souhan.
Three weeks later, on November 4, 2007, Peterson broke his own franchise record as well as the NFL single game rushing yard record (previously held by Jamal Lewis since 2003) when he rushed for 296 yards on 30 carries and 3 touchdowns against the San Diego Chargers in a home game in Minneapolis. That game was his second game of over 200 yards rushing, a feat no other rookie has ever accomplished in a season. In addition to the NFL rushing record in a single game, it took him past 1,000 yards rushing for the year after just eight games. His 1,036 rushing yards represents the best eight-game performance by a rookie in NFL history.
In honor of Peterson's record-breaking performance against the San Diego Chargers, the jersey he wore that day was sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On November 11, 2007, just a week later, Peterson injured the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee in a game against the Green Bay Packers. The injury occurred in the third quarter of a 34–0 defeat at Lambeau Field on a low tackle by Packers cornerback Al Harris. Almost a month after the injury, Peterson returned to action on December 2, 2007 against the Detroit Lions scoring 2 touchdowns and rushing for 116 yards.
On December 17, Peterson played in his first Monday Night Football game, where he had 78 yards rushing, 17 yards receiving and 2 TDs. The next day he was named as the starting running back for the 2008 NFC Pro Bowl team. On January 2, he was named The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
On February 10, 2008, Peterson won the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl MVP award with 16 carries for 129 yards rushing along with 2 touchdowns. The 129 yards rushing was the 2nd most in Pro Bowl history. He was the first rookie since Marshall Faulk in 1994 to win the Pro Bowl MVP award. Peterson and Faulk are currently the only NFL players to win both the NFL Pro Bowl MVP and Rookie of the Year awards in the same year. Peterson finished in second place in rushing yards (1341) in the 2007 season behind LaDainian Tomlinson, who finished with 1474 rushing yards.
Peterson and the Vikings entered the 2008 season with high expectations and as he did during his rookie season, Peterson set high goals for himself including a 2,000-yard campaign and the NFL MVP award. Questions remained as to Peterson's durability and the ability of the Vikings offense to take the focus of opposing defenses off Peterson.
Peterson and the Vikings began the season with a 24–19 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He finished with 103 yards on 19 carries along with a touchdown. In the following loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Peterson rushed for a then season-high 160 yards on 29 carries, and also recorded 4 receptions for 20 yards. However, Peterson was held to 77 yards on 17 carries and no score in their 20–10 win against the Carolina Panthers, partly because of a hamstring injury suffered the previous week. In the next game, a loss to Tennessee, Peterson rushed 18 times for 80 yards and scored 2 touchdowns along with 4 receptions for 21 yards. In the 30–27 win over the New Orleans Saints, Peterson was held to 32 yards on 21 carries, a 1.5 average. Against the Detroit Lions in the following week, Peterson rushed 25 times for 111 yards, but lost 2 fumbles. However, Peterson bounced back from the fumbles the following week against the Bears, totaling 22 carries for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Following a bye week, Peterson rushed 25 times for 139 yards and a touchdown in a victory over Houston. The contest marked the third straight 100-yard rushing game for Peterson and the Vikings. As of week 8, Peterson was second in the NFL in rushing yards with 823 yards, 172 yards behind Clinton Portis. In week 10, on Sunday, November 9, Peterson played in a victory against the Green Bay Packers 28–27. He had 30 carries for 192 yards. His longest run was 29 yards; the run was the game-winning touchdown. He averaged 6.4 yards per carry and also had 3 receptions. Peterson's stellar performance put him in the top spot for rushing yards this season, with 1015 yards.
Week 11 saw the Minnesota Vikings (5–4) at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6–3). Tampa Bay was coming off a bye week and was a notoriously difficult team to run against. Peterson was limited to 85 yards on just 19 carries, as the Vikings struggled to produce offense. In Week 12 Peterson was benched the first two offensive series vs. the Jaguars for being late to a team meeting, although he did amass 80 rushing yards and a TD. At the end of Week 12, Peterson became the NFL league leader for rushing yards again with 1,311 yards. Following Week 16, Peterson had 1,657 yards which led the league, and it was announced on December 18, Peterson would be the starting running back for the NFC Pro Bowl team. In his final regular season game in 2008, Peterson ran for 103 yards 21 carries, including a 67-yard touchdown run.
Peterson finished the season leading the league in rushing with 1,760 yards, which marks the third-most yards in a sophomore season behind Eric Dickerson's 2,105 yard season, and Chris Johnson's 2,006-yard season one year later. In Peterson's first 30 games he had 3,101 yards, which marks the 3rd best start to a career for running backs behind Eric Dickerson with 3,600 yards and Jim Brown with 3,144 yards. He became the fourth running back to lead the league in yards per game in his first two seasons along with Jim Brown, Earl Campbell, and Eric Dickerson. On January 14, 2009, Peterson was named to his second AP All-Pro team in two years.
Prior to the start of the 2009 season, analysts of both the NFL Network and ESPN unanimously named Peterson the best running back in the NFL today. However, the arrival of Brett Favre, one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, coming out of retirement brought both expectation and speculation about Peterson's new role in the offense. Head Coach Brad Childress, however, stated that he wanted to continue leaning on Peterson, giving him a large number of carries. Favre worked well into the offense through the first half of the season, re-establishing Peterson's ability with a passing attack. Peterson had 917 rushing yards through Week 10, while the Vikings had a record of 8–1.
Peterson opened the season by rushing for 180 yards on 25 carries and 3 touchdowns against the Cleveland Browns, setting a new Vikings franchise record for opening day rushing. He again broke the hundred-yard barrier in week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens, with 143 yards and 22 carries. His next 100-yard effort came against the Lions, with 133 yards on 18 carries, and he was named the FedEx Ground Player of the Week.
In the playoffs, Minnesota defeated the Dallas Cowboys 34–3, but then lost to the Saints in an overtime thriller 31–28. Peterson rushed for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns. Peterson finished the year fifth in rushing and lost Fed-Ex Ground player of the year to Chris Johnson who had over 2,000 yards rushing on the 2009 season. Peterson was voted to the Pro Bowl December 29 as the starting running back for the NFC team.
Peterson opened strongly in 2010, with 392 yards and 3 touchdowns through the first 3 weeks. In week 6, he went over the 5,000 yard career rushing mark against the Dallas Cowboys. At week 7, Peterson was second in the league with 684 yards, averaging 114 yards per game, but the Vikings had dropped to a disappointing mark of 2–4. By Week 16, Peterson had rushed for 1,267 yards with 12 touchdowns, as the Vikings improved to a 6–9 record. Peterson, who was infamous for fumbling the ball in previous seasons, had a dramatic change in the 2010 season with only one fumble during the regular season, a remarkable turnaround from his previous performances. While the Vikings missed the playoffs, Peterson represented his team in the Pro Bowl. Peterson thus far has been selected to the Pro Bowl every year he has played in the NFL. During the game, Peterson contributed 80 rushing yards and a touchdown in a 55–41 NFC win. After the season, Peterson was voted the No. 1 running back and #3 player overall on NFL Network's list of the Top 100 Players of 2011 as selected exclusively by NFL players.
According to NFL.com, Peterson was ranked as the third best player in the NFL for the 2011 season, behind Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. On September 10, 2011 the Vikings signed Peterson for $96 million over the course of seven seasons, making him the highest paid running back in NFL history. Peterson reached the 6,000-yard milestone on September 18, 2011 in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On October 9, Peterson scored three touchdowns in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals, setting a new franchise record. He would later earn NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance during the game. In a week 10 contest against the Oakland Raiders, Peterson suffered a high ankle sprain late in the first quarter, he was then later ruled out for their week 11 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
On December 24, 2011, Peterson was injured by DeJon Gomes and needed help off the field in a 33–26 victory over the Washington Redskins. He was placed onto injured reserve due to a torn ACL and MCL on December 26, 2011.
For the first time in his career, Peterson failed to record a 1,000-yard season, after playing only 12 games during the year.
2012: MVP year
Peterson started Week 1, although his status was listed as questionable. He rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns in his first game in eight months after his ACL and MCL tear. He passed Robert Smith to become the number one Vikings rusher of all time. By Week 16, Peterson was leading the NFL in rushing with 1,898 yards and averaging 6.0 yards a carry. He also had 11 touchdowns, with a further 215 yards receiving.
Entering Week 17, he needed 208 yards to break the NFL single-season record for the most rushing yards (2,105), set in 1984 by Eric Dickerson. That week, the Vikings played the Green Bay Packers needing a win to clinch a playoff berth. The game was tied at 34 in the fourth quarter when Peterson ran 26 yards, setting the Vikings up for a game-winning field goal with three seconds left. The Vikings chose the field goal, which sent them to the playoffs, but also left Peterson nine yards short of breaking the record. Peterson became the second player (Earl Campbell, 1980) to rush for 150 or more yards in seven games during an NFL season and had 1,019 yards after contact. He finished 2012 with 2,097 rushing yards, the second-most ever for a running back in a single season. The Vikings improved from 3–13 in 2011 to 10–6, qualifying as the NFC's sixth seed in the playoffs. In the Wild Card round, with Vikings' starting quarterback Christian Ponder unable to start due to injury, the Vikings fell to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 24–10. The team's record, alongside Peterson's historic season, earned him the NFL Offensive Player of the Year and the NFL Most Valuable Player awards. His comeback from an ACL tear the season before also earned him second place in NFL Comeback Player of the Year award voting, coming in second to Peyton Manning. After the completion of the season, Peterson underwent surgery for a sports hernia. It became known that Peterson played through this injury starting in the last quarter of the season.
Peterson opened his 2013 season by taking his first carry of the year 78 yards for a touchdown. Peterson struggled in the first 3 games of the season without all-pro fullback Jerome Felton, but upon his return in week 4, Peterson rushed for 140 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers. On October 10, 2013, Peterson missed practice for a "personal reason" and it was later revealed that his son was in critical condition. Peterson's son later died due to injuries suffered from an assault, apparently by the mother's live-in boyfriend. The child was 2 years old. Despite the loss and time spent answering relentless media inquiries he played against Carolina Panthers. The Panthers defeated the Vikings 35–10. Despite the incident, Peterson turned in the 5th highest rushing yardage total for the season with 1266 yards and 10 touchdowns in just 14 games.
Peterson opened the season rushing for 75 yards against the St Louis Rams. Just 5 days later, on September 12, 2014, Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges and subsequently deactivated for Minnesota's week-2 game against the New England Patriots. Amid the child abuse allegations, on September 15 the Vikings reinstated Peterson and he was scheduled to play against the New Orleans Saints. However, on September 17 Peterson was placed on the NFL’s Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which requires that Peterson "remain away from all team activities". After accepting a plea deal in early November, Peterson planned to return as early as week 11. On November 18, the NFL announced that Peterson would be suspended for at least the remainder of the 2014 season with no pay. In December, his league appeal was upheld and Peterson was scheduled for a federal court appeal hearing on February 6, 2015.
On February 26, 2015, Peterson was reinstated to the league after U.S. District Court Judge David Doty ruled in the NFL Players Association's lawsuit against the NFL on Peterson's behalf. Despite having only played one game in 2014, he was voted into the NFL Top 100 list for 2015 in 62nd place. Peterson returned to the Vikings on June 2. Peterson struggled in his first game back, taking the ball 10 times for 31 yards in a 20-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. He bounced to form in week 2, picking up 134 yards on 29 carries against the Detroit Lions (the eighth 100+ yard rushing game against the Lions in his career). The Vikings rushed out to a 8-3 start, with Peterson averaging 106 rushing yards per game and breaking 8 touchdowns. The period was highlighted with the game against the Oakland Raiders on November 15, in which Peterson rushed 26 times for 203 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run. This was his sixth career 200+ yard rushing game, tying with O.J Simpson for the most in history. Peterson struggled more down the stretch, eclipsing 100 yards only once in the final 5 regular season and 1 playoff games. In the first quarter of a narrow loss at Arizona in week 14, Peterson scored his 100th career touchdown. Week 17 saw the Vikings defeat the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North Division Championship. In the game, Peterson recovered a Teddy Bridgewater fumble late in regulation to help preserve the victory. Peterson was just the third player in history over the age of 30 to lead the NFL in single-season rushing yards.
With the Vikings playing the first ever regular season game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 2 against the Packers on Sunday Night Football, Peterson rushed for 19 yards until leaving the game with an apparent right knee injury. The next day, it was revealed that the right knee had a torn meniscus. On September 22, Peterson underwent successful surgery to repair the meniscus. It was also revealed that the knee had a mild LCL sprain, but it did not need surgery. He was placed on injured reserve on September 23, 2016.
NFL records and other accomplishments
- Most rushing yards in a single game (296)
- Most rushing yards in any eight-game period (1,322)
- Most 60+ yard TD runs in a career (13)
- Tied-most 50+ yard runs in a single season (7, with Barry Sanders)
- Most rushing yards in a single game (296; vs. San Diego Chargers, November 4, 2007)
- Tied-most 200+ rushing yard games in career (6, with O.J Simpson)
- 1 time NFL MVP (2012) 
- 3 time NFL Rushing Champion (2008, 2012, 2015) 
Vikings franchise records
- Most career rushing touchdowns (97)
- Most rushing yards in a single season: 2,097 (2012)
- Most rushing touchdowns in a single season: 18 (2009)
- Most career rushing yards (11,675)
- Most career carries (2,381)
Pro Bowl records
- Most career rushing touchdowns (4)
Bold denotes season league leader.
Peterson has a half-brother named Jaylon Brown who played running back on the football team at Klein Oak High School. Another half-brother was murdered the night before Peterson participated in the NFL Combine. Additionally, when he was a teenager, Peterson's father was sentenced to ten years in prison for laundering drug money.
Peterson has six children. His two-year-old son died on October 11, 2013, at a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, hospital due to injuries sustained during an alleged assault by Joseph Robert Patterson, the boyfriend of the child's mother. Peterson had learned about his son only a few weeks prior to his death, and had never met him.
Peterson is a Christian. Peterson spoke of his faith in relation to his injury of a torn ACL and MCL by saying, "...‘This is a blessing in disguise. I’ll come back stronger and better than I was before.’ What flashed in my mind was, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’..."
Indictment for child abuse
Peterson was indicted by a Montgomery County, Texas, grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child on September 12, 2014. He was subsequently deactivated for one game by the Vikings. Photos posted on TMZ.com revealed his 4-year-old son's legs with slash-like wounds. Peterson’s 2014 NFL season was over after arbitrator Shyam Das ruled in favor of the NFL on November 18, 2014, saying, “the league can keep Adrian Peterson on the commissioner’s exempt list,” effectively terminating any possibility the Minnesota Vikings running back would play again that season. The prosecution in the case alleged that Peterson used a tree branch to beat his young son repeatedly on his back, buttocks, genitals, ankles, and legs. Peterson described the implement as a 'switch', a form of punishment that was used on Peterson in his own childhood.
On November 4, 2014, Peterson pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge of recklessly assaulting his four-year-old son. He avoided a jail sentence after reaching a plea agreement with a court in Texas. He used a wooden implement to discipline his son in Spring, Texas in May and was put on probation and also fined $4,000. He was also ordered to undergo 80 hours of community service.
In December 2014, Harold Henderson, the NFL-appointed arbitrator for Peterson's appeal affirmed Peterson's unpaid suspension until at least spring 2015. However, the NFL Players Association called Henderson's objectivity into question and said it was "considering immediate legal remedies" to the decision.
On August 4th, 2016, ESPN.com reported that the NFL won an appeal in a case against Peterson, reversing a ruling which overturned Peterson's suspension and fine. The original ruling resulted when Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge after injuring his son.
- Wojciechowski, Gene (December 7, 2006). "NEXT 2005 Adrian Peterson". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 28, 2008.
- "Adrian Peterson NFL Bio". Viking Update. April 28, 2007. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
- "Adrian Peterson". Yahoo!. Retrieved August 24, 2007.
- "Adrian Peterson". Minnesota Vikings. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved August 15, 2007.
- Weisman, Larry (August 7, 2007). "Is Peterson a home run hitter for Vikings?". USA Today. Retrieved August 24, 2007.
- "Vikings' Peterson with runaway performance on field, and in voting". Associated Press. January 2, 2008. Archived from the original on January 5, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2008.
- Rosenthal, Gregg (June 24, 2013) Ranking the NFL Network's top 10 players of 2013. NFL.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- Chiari, Mike (December 1, 2013). "Adrian Peterson Joins Jim Brown, Eric Dickerson as Quickest to 10,000 Rush Yards". Bleacher Report. Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- BARBARA GLADDEN ADAMICK, DISTRICT CLERK (September 12, 2014). "Criminal Inquiry Screen - CAUSE: 14-09-10024-CR". MONTGOMERY COUNTY - DISTRICT CLERKS OFFICE. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
- "Adrian Peterson reinstated". ESPN. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
- "JockBio: Adrian Peterson Biography". Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- Dodd, Dennis (October 12, 2006). "Peterson family story to add emotional chapter Saturday". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- Corbett, Jim (April 20, 2007). "Adrian Peterson runs through anger to the NFL". USA Today. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- Bensinger, Graham. "Peterson overcomes adversity, injuries to be top RB". ESPN.com.
- Tyler, Scott (June 24, 2007). "A Hero's Welcome Home". Palestine Herald-Press. Retrieved August 30, 2007.[dead link]
- Pasquarelli, Len (April 17, 2007). "Peterson's been ready for the NFL for years". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on September 10, 2007. Retrieved September 17, 2007.
- Shepard, Jack (March 8, 2003) Track & Field News: Lists: 2003: Men's High School. Trackandfieldnews.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013. Archived June 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Adrian Peterson and His Track Star Mom Bonita Jackson's SI Kids Photoshoot – Adrian Peterson and Bonita Jackson | Sports Illustrated Kids. Sikids.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- Adrian Peterson - Yahoo! Sports
- "Adrian Peterson – Football Recruiting". Rivals.com. Archived from the original on September 16, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
- "Ball Park National H.S. Player of the Year". Scout.com. Archived from the original on August 6, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
- "Adrian Peterson - Oklahoma Sooners - College Football - Rivals.com". Rivals.com. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- Latzke, Jeff (September 4, 2004). "No. 2 Oklahoma 40, Bowling Green 24". Rivals.com. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- Bellamy, Clayton (October 23, 2004). "No. 2 Oklahoma 41, Kansas 10". Rivals.com. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- Bellamy, Clayton (October 30, 2004). "No. 2 Oklahoma 38, No. 20 Oklahoma State 35". Rivals.com. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- Russo, Ralph D (November 6, 2004). "No. 2 Oklahoma 42, No. 22 Texas A&M 35". Rivals.com. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- Latzke, Jeff (November 13, 2004). "No. 2 Oklahoma 30, Nebraska 3". Rivals.com. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- "Peterson runs for 240 yards, three TDs". ESPN. November 20, 2004. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- "White, Peterson power OU". ESPN. December 4, 2004. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- "All-American: ozzy". University of Oklahoma and CSTV. Archived from the original on July 18, 2007. Retrieved August 30, 2007.
- "Heisman Voting". The San Diego Union-Tribune. December 12, 2004. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- "Peterson injured in Oklahoma's win". Associated Press. October 1, 2005. Archived from the original on November 7, 2005. Retrieved September 26, 2007.
- "Sooners pick off Leaf with 33 seconds left to secure win". ESPN. December 29, 2005. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- "NCAA: Oklahoma must vacate eight victories in 2005". USA Today. July 12, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- "NCAA committee partially overturns ruling, reinstates 8 Sooners wins". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Associated Press. February 22, 2008. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- "Oklahoma's Peterson returns to practice". Associated Press. December 8, 2006. Archived from the original on December 10, 2006. Retrieved December 9, 2006.
- Wright, Scott (October 18, 2006). "Peterson discusses injury". The Oklahoman. Retrieved October 19, 2006.
- "Stoops: Peterson Broke Collarbone". SoonerSports.com. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- "Oklahoma BCS-bound after beating Huskers for Big 12 title". ESPN. December 2, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- "Adrian Peterson – Oklahoma Sooners". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
- "Career Rushing Records". SoonerStats.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- "Peterson to Enter 2007 NFL Draft". University of Oklahoma and CSTV. January 15, 2007. Archived from the original on October 7, 2007. Retrieved August 21, 2007.
- Visser, Leslie (November 7, 2007). "Peterson rewriting the rookie record book 'All Day' long". CBS Sportsline.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2007.
- Corbett, Jim (April 18, 2007). "Adrian Peterson runs through anger to the NFL". USA Today. Retrieved August 24, 2007.
- Banks, Don (May 21, 2007). "Teams wary of Peterson's health". CNN Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on August 26, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
- Max, Mike (May 21, 2007). "Adrian Peterson Credits Family For Success". WCCO-TV. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
- Walker, James (February 23, 2007). "Browns to learn today if they'll draft third or fourth". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved September 26, 2007.[dead link]
- Adrian Peterson NFL Combine Results. nflcombineresults.com
- "Adrian Peterson-Oklahoma RB-2007 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". Nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved November 28, 2008.
- Max, Mike (April 20, 2007). "Adrian Peterson runs through anger to the NFL". WCCO-TV. Archived from the original on April 20, 2007. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
- Pedulla, Tom (April 29, 2007). "Vikings' Peterson confident he can contribute". USA Today. Retrieved August 25, 2007.
- Robinson, Jon (May 4, 2007). "Adrian Peterson Interview". IGN. Archived from the original on August 20, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
- Seifert, Kevin (November 4, 2007). "At home, Vikings star can put his fire on ice". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on November 4, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
- Pasquarelli, Len (July 29, 2007). "Vikings agree to six-year deal with top pick Peterson". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 29, 2007.
- Campbell, Dave (October 20, 2007). "Rookie Adrian Peterson off to a sensational start for Vikings". Associated Press. Retrieved November 6, 2007.[dead link]
- Salisbury, Sean (November 7, 2007). "Is Adrian Peterson the best back in football?". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
- Souhan, Jim (August 11, 2007). "Only one game, but offense already has apparently hit the wall". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
- "National Football League Game Summary: St. Louis Rams At Minnesota Vikings" (PDF). National Football League. August 10, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
- "National Football League Game Summary: Atlanta Falcons At Minnesota Vikings" (PDF). National Football League. September 9, 2007. Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- Zulgad, Judd (September 25, 2007). "Teammates want to keep 'All Day' fresh for all season". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved September 26, 2007.
- "Peterson named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for September". Associated Press. October 3, 2007. Retrieved October 6, 2007.
- "Peterson named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for October". MSNBC.com. November 1, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007.[dead link]
- Seifert, Kevin (October 15, 2007). "Image of Vikings' bumbling offense fades on this day". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 15, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2007.
- Zulgad, Judd (October 14, 2007). "Peterson show dazzles Bears ... and Vikings". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 15, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2007.
- Chadiha, Jeffri (October 18, 2007). "Quick impression: Vikes' Peterson eyes record season". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2007.
- Campbell, Dave (October 18, 2007). "PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Rookie Peterson off to a sensational start for Vikings". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved October 21, 2007.
- Souhan, Jim (October 20, 2007). "Peterson is one of a kind". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
- Campbell, Dave (November 4, 2007). "Peterson breaks single-game rushing record". Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 5, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
- "Top rushing performances in NFL history". Associated Press. November 4, 2007. Archived from the original on November 6, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
- Campbell, Dave (November 4, 2007). "Peterson Leads Vikes Past Chargers 35–17". Associated Press. Retrieved November 4, 2007.[dead link]
- Seifert, Kevin (November 4, 2007). "Vikings winning formula: Give the ball to Peterson". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on November 5, 2007. Retrieved November 5, 2007.
- Seifert, Kevin (November 12, 2007). "Vikings: Good news out of a bad collision". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on December 16, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
- Krawczynski, Jon (December 2, 2007). "Adrian's back as Vikings surge to big victory". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on December 4, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2007.
- "Owens, Peterson Lead NFC Comeback". Associated Press. February 10, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2008.[dead link]
- "2007 NFL Leaders and Leaderboards". Retrieved October 17, 2008.
- "2,000 yards? MVP award? Peterson sets sights on the highest levels". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved September 1, 2008.
- Gates, Christopher (September 10, 2011) Schefter: Peterson Contract Extension Worth $96 Million, $32 Million Guaranteed. Minnesota.sbnation.com.
- Wiederer, Dan (October 11, 2011). "Adrian Peterson named NFC Offensive Player of the Week". Star Tribune.
- Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Minnesota Vikings – Recap – September 09, 2012 – ESPN. Scores.espn.go.com (September 9, 2012). Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- Crabtree, Curtis (February 2, 2013) Adrian Peterson takes home league MVP award | ProFootballTalk. Profootballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- Garafolo, Mike (February 7, 2013) Adrian Peterson has surgery to repair sports hernia. Usatoday.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- Hudson, Bill (October 11, 2013) Adrian Peterson's Son Dies After Alleged Beating By Mother's Boyfriend. Minnesota.cbslocal.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- Firzgerald, Matt (October 13, 2013) Adrian Peterson Will Play vs. Panthers After Death of Son. Bleacherreport.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- FOX Sports – Adrian Peterson explains why he is playing after his son's death. Youtube.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- "Adrian Peterson faces charges related to injury to child, report says". The Boston Globe. September 12, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- Borzi, Pat (September 15, 2014). "Vikings Clear Adrian Peterson to Play Against Saints". The New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
- Belson, Ken (September 17, 2014). "Adrian Peterson Barred as Vikings Reverse Course". The New York Times. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
- Florio, Mike (November 5, 2014). "Peterson wants NFL to move quickly". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
- Hearing on Peterson's petition to void suspension set Feb. 6 | FOX Sports
- "Adrian Peterson reinstated". ABC News. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
- Wesseling, Chris (June 27, 2015). "Adrian Peterson believes he's still the NFL's best RB". NFL.com. National Football League. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "RB Adrian Peterson returns to Vikings after nearly 9-month absence". ESPN.com. June 2, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
- Rosenthal, Gregg. "Adrian Peterson has torn meniscus.". NFL. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Rosenthal, Gregg. "Will this be Adrian Peterson's last stand in Minnesota?". NFL. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
- Patra, Kevin. "Adrian Peterson undergoes successful knee surgery". NFL. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- Gantt, Darin. "Vikings put Adrian Peterson on injured reserve". ProFootballTalk.NBCSports.com.
- Smith, Michael David (December 17, 2012) NFL morning after: Statement Sunday — or was it?. Profootballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- Peters, Craig (November 15, 2015). "Adrian Peterson Ties NFL Record with 6th 200+ Game". Vikings.com. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
- NFL Single Game Rushing Yards Leaders | Pro-Football-Reference.com
- Player Game Finder Query Results | Pro-Football-Reference.com
- "Minnesota Vikings Team Encyclopedia". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- "Pro Bowl Records". espn.go.com.
- Jaylon Brown's (Spring, TX) High School Football Stats. MaxPreps.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- "Peterson's son dies in Sioux Falls after assault", Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 11, 2012
- Interview with Adrian Peterson. Youtube.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- "Peterson's mom comes to his defense". ESPN.com.
- Botelho, Greg and Hanna, Jason (October 12, 2013) Report: Adrian Peterson's young son dies after assault. CNN.com. Retrieved on November 4, 2013.
- Schrotenboer, Brent (October 11, 2013). "Adrian Peterson's son, 2, dies; man charged with abuse". USA Today. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
- "The Faith of NFL Star Adrian Peterson".
- "Adrian Peterson says he Finds Peace in his Relationship with Jesus Christ". Archived from the original on June 28, 2013.
- Wilson, Ryan (September 12, 2014). "Report: Adrian Peterson indicted in child injury case in Texas". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- Whitmer, Michael (September 12, 2014). "Adrian Peterson booked and released from jail". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
- Borzi, Pat (September 15, 2014). "Adrian Peterson Cleared to Play by Vikings". The New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
- "Home Adrian Peterson -- Indicted for Child Abuse ... Doc Reported Injuries (Photo Update) Adrian Peterson Indicted for Child Abuse (Photo Update)". TMZ.com. September 13, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- Arbiter Shyam Das rules against Adrian Peterson of Minnesota Vikings
- "Adrian Peterson's childhood friend shows tree where he says they picked out switches". USA Today. September 15, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- "NFL star Adrian Peterson admits reckless assault on son". BBC News. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- "Adrian Peterson's appeal denied, suspension upheld". Fox News. December 13, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
- "NFL wins appeal in case against Adrian Peterson of Minnesota Vikings". ESPN.com. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Adrian Peterson.|