Vikings' running back Adrian Peterson promised from the time he tore his ACL in Washington on Christmas Eve that he'd be back in uniform for the start of the 2012 season.
Coach Leslie Frazier was a skeptic initially, but the third-year coach sounds as if he's come around to his All-Pro running back's way of thinking.
"I don't know if we'll put him on the practice field anytime soon when we get to (training camp in) Mankato," Frazier said in an ESPN Radio appearance "But everything indicates there's a very good chance he may be ready for that (season opener) Jacksonville game."
Frazier said the game -- about two-and-a-half months away -- is still too far out for the Vikings or Peterson to know exactly what will happen. It appears likely Peterson will be limited to positional work and rehab during training camp and might participate in on-field team sessions once the team breaks camp and returns to Minneapolis.
Peterson continues to guard against overtraining. As part of that restrictor-plate approach, the Vikings aren't eager to put him in daily competitive situations.
"When you compare him to other guys that have had ACL injuries, he's just so far ahead of where they would be at the same time," Frazier said.
Backup Toby Gerhart finished last season with a 4.9 yards-per-carry average and 23 receptions. He'll likely get a heavier workload in September, when the Vikings play Jacksonville, at Indianapolis, San Francisco and at Detroit.