Peterson, who has returned to practice less than eight months after suffering a season-ending ACL tear in his left knee, is viewed as the Vikings' franchise player and apparently has been kept "off limits" thus far during training camp, according Dan Wiederer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The rules that head coach Leslie Frazier and the coaching staff have handed down to their defense are very direct and strict, explaining that Peterson be left untouched during all contact drills and practices, or else.
"The rules are simple," safety Jamarca Sanford said. "Do not touch 28 [Peterson]. If you touch him, you're cut."
Frazier knows the edict is rather strong. But just to make sure that his players received the message, the head coach popped into the defensive huddle before Peterson's first snap on Wednesday just to make sure everyone was clear.
"Now we have to adhere to it," Frazier said of the stipulation. "But one of the things they told me was, 'Coach, you know how he runs. What about protecting us?'"
But while Frazier and Vikings players are finding ways to ease up on Peterson during practice, the four-time Pro Bowler says he's not going to change his own style of play.
"Initially, I kind of expected to get hit or bumped or something… I'm still going to lower my shoulder," Peterson said. "So those guys are probably going to get tired of touching off and tired of me putting my shoulder into them. They'll end up firing back."
Peterson is nearly back to full strength and he's already even been cleared for full contact. But sporting a "do not disturb" sign for the time being might be the best decision for Minnesota's long-term plan for the talented back.
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