Adrian Peterson is scheduled to begin running this week. For real this time.
Last month, Peterson said in multiple interviews he was ready to run less than two months after undergoing knee reconstruction, prompting Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier to call his star halfback and tell him not to rush his rehabilitation.
That rehabilitation has remained on target, Frazier said on Wednesday at the NFL meetings, and Peterson is back in Minnesota with the Vikings' training staff this week as he prepares to take the next step -- moving from jogging in a pool to dryland.
"He's supposed to start running this week," Frazier said. "We'll get a better gauge of where he is once he starts running. But everything he's done up to this point has been very good."
The Vikings continue to hope for Peterson to play in Week 1, but Frazier acknowledged last month Peterson may be highly limited early on. Frazier said on Wednesday the Vikings are moving forward with contingency plans to add a third back who could play a significant role behind Toby Gerhart whether Peterson makes it back or not.
"It's too early right now to say that he's going to absolutely make it back by the first game," Frazier said. "But so far, he's on target with everything we've asked him to do."
If the offseason news is good and it appears that Peterson is on track to return Week 1, he probably holds 2nd round value. If it looks like he's going to miss the start of the season or if his touches are severely limited, his value will fall into the middle rounds. It usually takes more than a year for an RB coming off ACL surgery to return to form, so at this point we're not terribly excited about AP in 2012.