For the first time since 2007, Adrian Peterson is not a Minnesota Viking. That is a strange feeling for Vikings fans, and that is a strange feeling for Vikings players.
“Obviously everybody realizes the void that is left when you lose a future Hall-of-Fame player on the field, but also there’s a big void in the locker room and off the field as well,” Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Adrian was a great leader and a guy that a lot of the young guys on our team . . . looked up to and saw the way that he worked off the field. That kind of trickled throughout our locker room.”
Peterson recorded seven 1,200-yard seasons for Minnesota, including his historic 2,097-yard season in 2012, which ranks second all time.
“When you lose the caliber of player like that, there is a void that has to be filled,” Rudolph said. “You move ahead and look to our roster this year. We have three really good running backs, and I’m excited to watch all three of those guys go out and play this year and make plays and help our team win games.”
The Vikings, of course, drafted Dalvin Cook in the second round of the NFL Draft in April. They hope the Florida State product can carry the load for years to come.
“He’s been extremely fun to watch,” Rudolph said. “You see his patience and vision really come through. It’s been fun to kind of watch him grow throughout his rookie offseason, and I’m really looking forward to watching him go through his rookie year because he’s been extremely impressive. He’s a great kid. He’s a student of the game off the field and in the meeting room, and he’s a pretty electric runner. I’m looking forward to watching him play for us this year and see what he does when he gets his hands on the ball.”