That wasn’t anything like what Vikings running back Adrian Peterson envisioned for his return to the NFL.
Peterson, who missed the final 15 games last season over child-abuse charges, rushed for 31 yards on 10 carries in his first game since Sept. 7, 2014, a loss to the 49ers on national television Monday night.
“This wasn’t the way we expected it to go,” Peterson said. “It will be a much different feel coming in (next week at home). You have to credit those guys on defense. They have good players, and they got the better of us.”
Peterson, 30, didn’t have a carry on the Vikings’ opening drive, when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater missed three straight passes following a blocked field goal, and Minnesota missed a kick attempt of its own. Peterson had only four carries in the first half.
49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks said the 49ers “preached all week” about stopping the run.
“That’s how we play defense over here, and that’s how we’ll continue to play defense,” Brooks said.
Peterson’s longest run went for nine yards.
“I felt a little hesitant a couple times coming out of the shotgun,” Peterson said. “But outside of that, I felt pretty good picking up guys in protection. A couple of the runs I had, I felt like I could have did a little better. A couple of them were pretty decent. But once I look at the film, I’ll be able to kind of evaluate myself and see the things I could have did a lot better.”
Peterson said expectations for the 2015 Vikings are still high, but coach Mike Zimmer said in his postgame press conference that it’s possible the team isn’t “ready for primetime yet.” Perhaps it will be a different narrative Sunday in Peterson’s first home game since returning to the team against the Detroit Lions.
“It was definitely embarrassing to play the way we did,” said Peterson.