Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will play for the first time this preseason on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, according to Mark Craig of the Star Tribune. Peterson hasn't played in either of the team's first two preseason games, and the offense has struggled without him.
The third preseason game is typically the most important, and usually involves teams game planning for their opponents. For the Vikings to do any kind of offensive game planning, they have to use Peterson, given that he is the star of their offense. Quarterback Christian Ponder has been unable to shoulder the load on his own.
Peterson hasn't been banged up this offseason, the team has just been going light on him after he was worked hard all last season coming off major leg injuries. It's unlikely he sees action in the fourth preseason game, so this is probably the most we'll see of Peterson before the regular season.
Fantasy Impact: Peterson is pretty much locked in as the top pick in most fantasy drafts, especially given the fact that he almost broke the NFL single-season record for rushing yardage last year. This will probably be all we see of Peterson until the first week, and the 49ers vaunted defense will be planning for Peterson, so seeing what he is (or isn't) able to do will be most interesting. It's not going to sway fantasy owners in either direction, but it's always big news to see Peterson.