Vikings running back Adrian Peterson promised shortly after he tore his ACL in Washington on Christmas Eve that he'd be back on the field for the start of the 2012 season.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier wasn't as optimistic as his star running back at the time, but the third-year coach recently told ESPN Radio that he's starting to become a believer in Peterson's promise.
"I don't know if we'll put him on the practice field any time soon when we get to (training camp in) Mankato," Frazier said in the radio appearance. "But everything indicates there's a very good chance he may be ready for that (season opener) Jacksonville game."
That's still two-and-a-half months away, which would have given Peterson nine months to recover from a devastating knee injury. Frazier said the game is still too far out for the Vikings or Peterson to know exactly what will happen.
According to the Sports Xchange, Peterson is likely to be limited to positional work and rehab during training camp but might participate in on-field team sessions once the team breaks camp and returns to Minneapolis.
"When you compare him to other guys that have had ACL injuries, he's just so far ahead of where they would be at the same time," Frazier said.
If Peterson isn't ready to go Week 1, backup Toby Gerhart finished last season with a 4.9 yards-per-carry average with 23 receptions. The Lions first game this year against Vikings is in Week 4 at Ford Field.
Around the NFC North:
Urlacher bullish on Bears: "I know we got better' Vaughn McClure – Tribune
Bears' Urlacher will be ready 'for sure' Vaughn McClure – Tribune
Bears, Matt Forte talking as deadline nears for long-term deal Joe Cowley, Sun-Times
Lance Briggs has high expectations for 2012 Bears Associated Press
Urlacher on title hopes: 'This is our best shot' Larry Mayer – chicagobears.com
Vikings announce training camp schedule, acquire DE Chris Miller – Star Tribune
Downtown Minneapolis neighbors don't want a Dome II Janet Moore – Star Tribune
Vikings training camp to feature 3 p.m. practices Jeremy Fowler – Pioneer Press
Vikings cornerback Chris Carr feeling right at home Jeremy Fowler – Pioneer Press
Chosen as No. 1 player in NFL, Rodgers calls in 'humbling' Wes Hodkiewicz – Press Gazette
Freeman keeping busy, in touch with NFL Wes Hodkiewicz – Press Gazette
NFL announces new kickoff time for late afternoon doubleheader games Bob Wolfley – Journal Sentinel
McCarthy setting bar high for Packers Journal Sentinel Q&A
Job No. 1 for Packers D: Tackle better Tyler Dunne – Journal Sentinel