What does a team gain by exposing a veteran workhorse running back to punishing contact in exhibition games? If you're the VIkings or 49ers, it appears the answer is nothing.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport on Monday that he has "nothing to see" from Adrian Peterson in preseason games. He said Peterson may get a carry or two if he really wants them, but the team may just hold him out until September.
Zimmer's statement comes a day after ESPN's Bill Williamson wrote that Frank Gore is unlikely to suit up for San Francisco's preseason action. Given the 49ers' recent injuries at running back with Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James , they don't want to risk one to their leading man.
Thus, Carlos Hyde and Matt Asiata better prepare to get a long look in August.
Peterson hasn't taken a preseason carry since 2011. Gore has seen four in each of the past two years. Both have been fine for fantasy owners (Peterson has been a little more so). This is the smart, obvious move for two coaches looking to limit the amount of wear and tear on the legs of their star player. Peterson remains a top-three fantasy pick. Gore's value is a little more complicated given his age (31) and Hyde's presumed immediate impact. Gore wants to carry a heavier burden this season, but he probably won't get it. He's more of a low-end RB2.