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Zimmer: Vikings, Peterson Excited about Return

When Adrian Peterson returned to Winter Park for the offseason program this summer, the first play called was a pass after a fake handoff.

Defenders that sold out on the ball going to the talented running back were taken aback.

Peterson is poised for his first game action in more than a calendar year and could be implemented in a variety of ways, but Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer vowed to SiriusXM Blitz hosts Rich Gannon and Bruce Murray simply said that Peterson is "going to get the ball" when Minnesota opens its 2015 regular season slate at San Francisco.

"The plan is he gets to play on Monday night, so we're excited about it," Zimmer said. "I know he's excited about it. He's been doing a good job, and he's been working real hard at all the things he has to do. He's been good in practice, and we're just happy to get him back out here on the field.

"I know the times I've spoken to him, he's excited to get back and play in the NFL again and play for the Vikings," Zimmer added.

Peterson hasn't carried the football since the 2014 season opener in St. Louis when he rushed 21 times for 75 yards. He didn't take a snap during the preseason and was protected from contact in practices, but coaches have been pleased with what he's shown them.

Zimmer also was asked about the quarterbacks set to start: second-year pro Teddy Bridgewater and 49ers fifth-year vet Colin Kaepernick. Zimmer said Bridgewater is "still learning quarterback, just like all young guys are, but I think it was a blessing in disguise for him to start 12 ball games last year, to be able to go in there and get reps against live people."

Zimmer said Bridgewater "did great in the preseason," and tempered it against defenses that are "a little bit more vanilla" than what he'll see, but said the 2014 first-round pick has seen "a lot of looks defensively every day in practice."

As for the opposition, the Vikings are quite aware of the damage Kaepernick has done with his legs.

"All quarterbacks, they put an extra dimension in when they can run the football," Zimmer said. "They can create space with their legs, so you have to be careful with your rush lanes, and we anticipate they're going to get out of the pocket with some bootlegs and things like that."

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