There’s no denying how well Peterson has played in practice during the last couple of weeks. He’s hit holes with force. He’s made defenders miss with nifty footwork. He even hauled in a 30-yard touchdown reception on a wheel route from Brees against Houston in Thursday’s practice.
After a 1,485-yard season in 2015, Peterson gained just 72 yards on 37 carries (1.9 YPC) in 2016 while his season was interrupted by meniscus surgery. He’s 32 years old and doesn’t run well out of the shotgun, which has become the norm in today’s NFL. He should take over the role of Tim Hightower (8.3 carries per game), working primarily as Mark Ingram’s backup. He is Adrian Peterson, so he has some upside from there, but this is one of the most crowded backfields in the league.