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Adrian Peterson – Great Running Back, and Mentally Tough

It takes a little something extra to be able to put cleats on week after week and be willing to give up your body to go against 300-pound linebackers that are looking to crush you. But after the ordeal that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson went through last week, it proved that some players not only have physical strength, but also the mental strength to get them through some of the hardest times in life.

When the push notification came through to my phone that Peterson’s child was in critical condition, I was quite confused what was going on. This wasn’t an update from a big name sports channel, but rather a mainstream news outlet. And to hear about AP’s 2-year-old son, I didn’t think was something that this channel would cover. Nonetheless, it was a story that obviously interested me enough so that I would immediately get online and inquire even further.

After a few hours of keeping up with the story, it was heartbreaking to hear that the child wouldn’t make it out of critical condition and instead would die due to severe head trauma. It has to be understood that things like this happen every day. There are bad people in this world, just as much as there is innocent children who can’t defend themselves. But when you hear about it from a high profile superstar athlete like Peterson, it becomes even more eye opening.

What may have been even more concerning were the reports that were released saying that this may not have been the first offense by the accused party. Joseph Patterson, the boyfriend of Petersons child’s mother, had been accused of beating a three-year-old a few years ago. But this isn’t about the criminal trials that will be sure to happen in the following months. This is about Peterson and the heroic efforts that he displayed on Sunday.

Sure, AP didn’t have a career game. He only rushed for 62-yards on 10 attempts. But you probably know, or might even be someone, who calls into work after a long night with friends. Instead, Peterson tied up his cleats like usual and was next to his team when on Sunday.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that Peterson has also had his share of injuries throughout his career. In college, he sustained a broken collar bone after jumping head first into the end zone on a celebratory touchdown. Two years ago he multiple ligaments in his knee and was expected to be out for over a year (the same injury that has kept Derrick Rose out of the NBA for the length of a full season). But Peterson was highly praised for his work ethic during his rehabilitation and was ready to go months ahead of schedule. If that wasn’t enough, he had such a strong season that he was only eight yards away from setting a new single-season rushing record in a year where he earned the NFL MVP.

So what can we expect in the weeks coming from Adrian Peterson? No one knows for sure. For fans that play fantasy sports, some analysts are predicting he’ll have a huge day against the winless Giants. The Giants have had so many issues this year that it wouldn’t be surprising if Peterson, and the Vikings, ran all over New York. The interesting thing to keep in mind is that it’s the highlighted game on Monday Night Football, and you never know how this could affect Eli Manning or Peterson. But for the sense of a feel good story, you can assure that most people will be rooting for AP.