The NFL lost several big names during the 2020 season after Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley and Joe Burrow all suffered knee injuries. They all plan on making comebacks for the 2021 season, and a big name is providing some assistance. Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson is using his past injury experience to guide his fellow NFL players.
Speaking to TMZ, "All Day" said that he has reached out to Barkley and Beckham. He also has plans on contacting Burrow. Peterson previously tore his ACL in 2011 but made a successful return to the Minnesota Vikings in 2012. He proceeded to rush for more than 2,000 yards — becoming the seventh player to ever do so — and came within eight yards of breaking the all-time single-season record.
"To be that poster child for [ACL recovery] is what I envisioned," Peterson told TMZ. "Because now people, they look at it, and they say, 'You know what? I can do that. I'll be able to come back.'" The 2012 NFL MVP also said that he has handed over his old rehab routines, workouts and milestones. Additionally, Peterson said that part of the process is teaching the other NFL players to have a positive mindset amid the adversity.
"I've always had the mindset of not allowing the world to box you in — not allowing what other ones might see as hard or impossible," Peterson explained. "Don't let that box you in where you can't open your mind to realize that we are incredible human beings that God has possessed with the ability to do some amazing things if we are able to allow our minds to go outside the box and do the impossible."
Throughout his career, All Day has continued to make bold claims. He said that he wanted to play until his mid-30s and that he wanted to break Emmitt Smith's all-time rushing yards record (18,355). Each time, critics said that Peterson would not find any success, but he has continued to remain on the field while scoring touchdowns.
Now in his 14th season, Peterson isn't the workhorse of the Lions' offense, but he is still finding success on the field. He has four touchdowns and 444 yards in 2020 so far and is averaging 3.7 yards-per-attempt. He is currently fifth on the NFL's all-time rushing yards list (14,660), just behind Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (15,269). Additionally, Peterson is fourth on the all-time rushing touchdowns list (115) behind Hall of Famer Marcus Allen (123).