Hall of Famer Jerry Rice has what he believes are some words of wisdom for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who is anxious to return to the field after suffering a torn ACL late last season.
Rice appeared on “NFL Live” and recalled his own comeback from an ACL injury in 1997. The injury occurred in the season opener, and Rice was back on the field for the regular-season finale. Unfortunately, in that game, he cracked the kneecap on the same knee. In Rice’s mind, it was not a coincidence.
He said, “I cracked my patella. I feel that I rushed myself back to the football field. And I think that with Adrian Peterson, he’s doing the same thing. Because we are accustomed to being out there with the guys, sweating with the guys, fighting on the football field. And if you’re not able to do that you just don’t feel connected. And that’s the reason why I rushed back. I hope he doesn’t do the same thing.”
After his surgery, Rice started working out after sawing the cast off his leg. He concluded, “I thought I was invincible. I felt I did all the work and it was time for me to get back on that football field. But if I had to do it all over again, I would take more time to heal up, then come back.”
We’ll see what happens with Peterson, who is supposed to be eased back into work after being removed from the physically unable to perform list Monday.
Keep Your Fantasy Options Open
The Packers are obviously a passing team, but might things be a little different now that Cedric Benson is on the roster? Obviously, much depends on how much Benson has left. He rushed for 1,067 yards and six touchdowns last season with the Bengals.
After signing with Green Bay over the weekend, Benson said, “I definitely have a goal to still rush for 1,000 and things like that, 1,000-plus, and set up some big numbers. I understand it’s not a run-first team and the run is not real heavy here, but there are times where a back gets the ball 25 times. And I’m sure if things are rolling, the run game is set to a standard that we’re hoping to achieve, it could be way more carries than that.”
Benson became an unrestricted free agent in March and went unsigned throughout the entire offseason. At one point, there were reports he might sign with the Raiders, but that never materialized. Benson said he is raring to go.
He said, “I feel great. I do a good job of putting a lot of effort and taking care of myself off the field, and I think it contributes on the field. It’s just kind of what you do. You grow older, playing the running back position, you understand the longevity of this position — of any position in the NFL — so you’ve got to do all you can to stay healthy.”
‘Tape an Aspirin to it and Go’
Those were the words of New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins, who has returned to practice after undergoing ACL surgery in the offseason. Mankins doesn’t even know when he injured his knee (or at least he won’t say), and just continued practicing and playing all the way through the Super Bowl.
“It wasn’t 100 percent, but it was still functional,” Mankins said. “Put a brace on, tape an aspirin to it and go … I could still run, so there was no reason to sit out. There were no MRIs or anything, so we never knew what exactly was hurt. If you can still run and play, there’s no reason to go see a doctor, right?”
He finally went to see a doctor after the season and was surprised to learn his ACL had been torn. Rehab followed, and now he is back on the field after hating watching at the beginning of camp.
He said, “In years past, I was always one of the guys that made fun of the guys that got hurt. Now I got put in that position. I always felt like we were here to do a job, so you should be out there practicing and playing. The first few weeks of camp were tough not to be out there, but it was something that had to be done.”
*The Eagles received good news on cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who it was feared had suffered a concussion in practice Monday. Coach Andy Reid reported Tuesday morning that Asomugha “has whiplash-type symptoms and a split lip. He didn’t have a concussion. He’s been tested. Everything’s OK there. He wasn’t knocked out. That’s not what happened when he was hit. He was completely conscious the whole time. But he did get a pretty good laceration to his lip and his back of his neck is a little bit sore.”
*For the Giants, there was bad news Tuesday, and it involves their defensive line. Tackle Shaun Rogers missed practice Monday because of a calf injury and now is being treated for a blood clot in his lower leg. Tackle Martin Parker will need surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back, which will result in him missing the entire season for the second straight year. Tackle Marvin Austin, who didn’t play last season because of a torn pectoral muscle, was sent to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City for a back issue. Another tackle, Chris Canty, remains on physically unable to perform. Finally, end Justin Trattou is now having trouble with his heel after already being sidelined by a sprained ankle.
*The Jets play the Giants Saturday night, and they will be without wide receiver Santonio Holmes (ribs) for the second straight game. Coach Rex Ryan said Holmes did “a little bit” in individual drills Monday, but added, “You’ve got to be able to protect yourself.”
The Raiders and Cowboys illustrated Monday night just how pathetic preseason football can be. And Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor was part of that. Completing 8 of 15 passes for 50 yards with an interception, Pryor said afterward, “I just think I played like dog crap. I’m angry at myself. I don’t think I played well. I thought Matt (Leinart) played great. I thought Carson (Palmer) played great. I thought everyone else on the team played great … So I’m mad about that, about how I played today. So I’m angry and I’m going to come back stronger next week.”
By the way, we will reserve editorial judgment on Pryor’s claim that “everyone else on the team played great.” We’d hate to see what the result would be if they didn’t play great.