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Vikings activate Adrian Peterson off injured reserve

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The Vikings return their top running back in advance of their rematch with the Packers in Week 16.

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings have played without Adrian Peterson since the star running back injured his knee against the Green Bay Packers in Week 2. Now, a week before the rematch, the Vikings have activated Peterson off of injured reserve.

Minnesota designated Peterson to come off of injured reserve earlier this week to allow him to practice, though the team still needed to open up a roster spot to complete his return. Peterson cleared that final hurdle Saturday when the Vikings waived defensive tackle Toby Johnson. As such, the running back should play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

Peterson suffered a torn meniscus against Green Bay that required surgery, sidelining him for the past 11 games. In that time, the Vikings have fallen to 16th in rushing yards per game, and none of their players with at least 15 carries currently averages more than 3.3 yards per attempt.

Peterson figures to help Minnesota's ground game, though to what degree remains to be seen. In 31 attempts this season, he produced just 50 yards (2.8 per carry average) and zero touchdowns. Still, the former MVP offers more than backups Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata.

For his career, Peterson has amassed 11,725 yards and 97 touchdowns on 2,412 carries. He has recorded another 1,944 yards and five touchdowns as a receiver.

Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. He covers the NFL for Sports on Earth and SB Nation. He also serves as the senior writer and editor for Acme Packing Company, a Green Bay Packers blog.