Could Peterson Return Kickoffs?
Peterson (Hannah Foslien - Getty Images)
Peterson (Hannah Foslien - Getty Images)
Posted Jan 3, 2013

Don't rule it out, especially if the Vikings need a big runback during Saturday night's playoff game.

The Green Bay Packers’ defense has been unable to stop Adrian Peterson. Would the Packers’ special teams have any better luck?

“For the past two years, I have been trying to get in on field goal block come in off the edge,” Peterson, who has rushed for 409 yards in two games against Green Bay, told reporters in Eden Prairie, Minn., on Wednesday. “You know, it’s just going to take one block for them to really be, ‘OK, you know what, let’s take the chance and let you go out there and get it done.’ Kickoff return, I wouldn’t mind getting back there. I’m in it to win.”

Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer is all in favor, though the buck — and the ideas — stop with coach Leslie Frazier.

“(Peterson) always asks,” Priefer said. “He’s a football player. Gunner, field goal block, returner. The guy is awesome. I always say yes and then I ask the head coach and he says no. I know what the answer is going to be, I don’t even have to ask.”

The Vikings’ first-round pick in 2007, Peterson returned kickoffs as a rookie and averaged 25.8 yards on 16 runbacks. He hasn’t been used in that capacity since the 2008 playoffs.

This being the playoffs, however, Frazier might not be so reluctant to give his star player another time or two with the ball. So, with Percy Harvin on injured reserve, if the Vikings need a big return late in the game, don’t be shocked if No. 28 lines up at the goal line awaiting Mason Crosby’s kick.

“The last four weeks that idea has popped up in my head but that’s as far as it has gone,” Priefer said. “To be quite honest with you, if we had to use him at the end of the game for a big return, we always have the cards down there in case we have any subs so we would show him exactly where the return is supposed to hit and let him do his magic. There’s absolutely an opportunity for him to go back there I would think in a crucial situation.”

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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