Although you will be treated to a wide range of mutants (some new and some old), there is one mutant that you will not see. At least not until August. The purple powerhouse, better known as Adrian Peterson, could be the closest thing to a Mutant we know.
After tearing his ACL and MCL in 2011, he managed to comeback eight months later, and make any doubters look downright silly. He was roughly 10 yards shy of breaking the single season rushing record, and walked away as the MVP that same year. Unfortunately, anytime someone sees success, it gets tainted with steroid rumors. Though I adamantly do not agree with those rumors, I do think there may be more to the story. History will remember Peterson as one of the greats, but maybe, just maybe, it will be with an asterisk (“*”) next to his name. For I say it is possible, nay, plausible that Adrian Peterson has mutant abilities.
Quick Healing: Much like Wolverine of the X-Men, Adrian Peterson may possess this power. Just look at everything I listed about above. Care to argue bub? The guy pretty much destroyed his left knee against the Redskins in 2011. Usually, with a torn ACL, you have to wait one month to have surgery, and then recovery time from then is about 6-7 months. A MCL tear takes anywhere from 2-8 weeks depending on the severity of it, and who you ask. So this could put most normal people at a 6-9 month recovery period, give or take a few weeks (not taking into consideration any rehabilitation time), if you are factoring both injuries. Like the famed “canucklehead” AP is not like most normal people. Not only was he better less than nine months later, but he was back on the field and rushed for 84 yards in his first week back.
Super Speed: OK, maybe his speed isn’t “super”, but he is still one of the fastest running backs when he hits open space. What he lacks in initial burst, he makes up for with his strength, awareness, and elusiveness. Sound like any other X-Men you may know? Again, after he makes that first guy (or guys) miss, he’s gone.
Enhanced Strength: Since 2007, Adrian Peterson has been throwing his body into defenders like he was made of steel. Enough so to earn him a “98 Trucking” ranking in Madden for the majority of his career. Meaning, the guy can run over other guys…easily. Like Colossus, he can’t be broken. This would negate the healing ability, but would still make sense. I am thinking he may have both. Without metal detectors on the field it’s kind of hard to really know. After the big injury, AP did nothing to change his style of running. He can easily make guys miss, but has no fear of plowing directly into a defender either. Either way, he rarely goes to the ground on the first tackle.
So, this is what we know; Adrian Peterson is as strong as a bear, can’t be injured, and is as fast as, well, himself. He is one of the most complete players, and still one of the most dynamic running backs currently in the NFL. Like any great superhero, Peterson has been pretty much on-top his entire career and is damn hard to beat. He has been entertaining, and an easy player to root for every year. Regardless of the Vikings’ record, Adrian Peterson has just about always walked away as a winner. When it is all said and done, I believe he will be remembered as one of the best mutants…uh I mean running backs of all-time.
Michael Beaudwin is a NFL writer for TPF and can be reached at MBeaudwin@thepenaltyflagblog.com
Follow him on Twitter @Michael_NerdFL
Photos courtesy of Star Tribune, and Marvel Comics