Legendary Vikings RB Won’t Retire in 2023

When discussing the biggest stars of the Minnesota Vikings franchise, particularly recent ones, Adrian Peterson’s name will be one of the first to come up. During his decade with the Vikings, he racked up 2418 carries, 11,747 rushing yards, and 97 TDs.

The legendary Vikings RB had a number of terrific seasons in a purple uniform, including his MVP season in 2012 where he rushed for 2097 yards and quite literally carried the Vikings into the playoffs. Even more remarkably, he did this following an ACL tear late in the 2011 season.

Legendary Vikings RB
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson jogs onto the field before the start of the Minnesota Vikings game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Dec, 18, 2016. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

Peterson has spent the latter portion of his career bouncing around the league, including stints in New Orleans, Arizona, Washington, Detroit, Tennessee, and Seattle. However, he did not play for a team in 2022, and as a result, there was some speculation that he could retire.

Well, it appears that the 38-year-old running back is not quite ready to hang up the cleats.Recently, the legendary Vikings RB told Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he won’t retire this year and will not join a legendary 2028 Hall of Fame class alongside Tom Brady and J.J. Watt.

“Mentally, I haven’t officially hung it up,” Peterson said. “We’ll see what happens. My mindset is, if God’s willing, maybe an opportunity presents itself and maybe it happens this season. I’ll go from there to your. But nothing happens this season. For sure, I will be hanging it up.”

Adrian Peterson and Dalvin Cook
Sep 11, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) talks with New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson (28) following the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

At age-38, it’s tough to envision a route where Peterson can be a focal point of an offense anymore. That being said, he ranks fifth all-time in NFL rushing yards and sits just 351 yards behind Barry Sanders for that No. 4 spot. He also needs three rushing touchdowns to move into a tie for third all-time alongside Marcus Allen.

Funny enough, if he were to sign on with the Vikings for a retirement tour and get those three TDs, it would also boost him up to exactly 100 in a Minnesota uniform for his career. Could such a retirement tour be in order? The odds are low, but if he isn’t going to retire this year, it’s something worth keeping an eye on.

Peterson and current Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell were both in Washington together during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.