MANKATO, Minn. — Adrian Peterson is almost a certainty to join Brett Favre at the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, but it won't be this Saturday.
Peterson will be attending the Vikings night practice at Minnesota State University, Mankato when Favre is presented for enshrinement into "football heaven."
Peterson sincerely appreciated the invitation from a player who was at first an inspiration, then a rival and at last a teammate.
"I got an invite, so that was pretty cool — actually really cool," Peterson said after his first padded practice on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it, but [he's] a no-brainer.
"I'm sure it's going to be a great day for him and his family. I wish him all the best," Peterson added. "I can always say that I played with him, so it's very satisfying to me."
Favre's Hall of Fame locker has Packers and Vikings jerseys from milestone moments. He broke the record for career touchdown passes with Green Bay and shattered the consecutive starts mark with Minnesota.
Favre had the best statistical season of his career in 2009, when he helped lead the Vikings to the NFC Championship game. He threw 33 touchdown passes against just seven interceptions for a career-best 107.2 passer rating, as well as a whistling spiral at age 40 that Peterson can still hear.
"[It's] the only ball I've heard whistle by my helmet, so to still be able to throw the ball with that much power was incredible to me," Peterson said.
The running back, who is entering his 10th pro season with 11,675 rushing yards (17th all-time) and 97 scores on the ground, recalled what it was like to align with the quarterback who is 15 years older.
"At first, awe. I grew up watching him. The passion that I play with is something that came from Favre, watching him play the game, 'That's how I'll play the running back position,' " Peterson said. "Having the success that he had for such a long time, initially, it was like, 'Wow, this is Brett Favre,' and to have a locker next to him was pretty special.
"I don't ask too many guys for autographs, but I definitely asked him for a couple," Peterson admitted. "It was a great experience, one that I'll always remember and cherish."
Many of Peterson's current teammates have grown up watching him. His influence has been significant from Minnesota to his home state of Texas and beyond. German-born rookie receiver Moritz Böhringer, for instance, was first drawn into American football after watching highlights of Peterson.
"It makes me feel good, like I've kind of switched roles and become more of a mentor for these guys, but I've let them know that I'm not old," Peterson said. "I am still young, so don't get it twisted. I love the role."