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Teams wary of Peterson's health

Oklahoma RB re-injured his collarbone in Fiesta Bowl

Posted: Wednesday April 25, 2007 5:57PM; Updated: Thursday April 26, 2007 11:21AM
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Adrian Peterson is still considered to be a top-10 pick despite health concerns.
Adrian Peterson is still considered to be a top-10 pick despite health concerns.
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Former Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson, an almost certain top-10 pick in the first round of Saturday's NFL draft, re-injured his collarbone in the Sooners' loss in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day -- an injury that has not been previously disclosed except to NFL teams.

Peterson broke his collarbone on Oct. 14 against Iowa State and missed the rest of Oklahoma's regular season, returning for the first time in the bowl game against Boise State. Peterson made NFL teams aware of the re-injury at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

But at least two teams that SI.com spoke to acknowledged that Peterson's health was a consideration in their draft analysis.

A high-level source on one team said the evaluation of his team's medical staff was that Peterson will require a surgical procedure, which would delay his availability at the start of training camp and perhaps longer. That team estimated Peterson would be sidelined after the procedure for "two or three months." That would likely mean Peterson would miss the entire offseason workouts of the team that drafted him and make him questionable for the early part of the preseason.

"Because of him re-injuring it in the bowl game, it's not as far along as it should be, it's not healed," said a team executive. "He lost three months with the re-injury. The question is, will it be healed enough to take a hit. Or will he hurt it again, the way [ex-Detroit receiver Charles Rogers] kept doing.

"It's not enough to take him off anyone's board, but it's a concern because of his straight-up running style. He has been a bit injury-prone and now you've got a situation where you're drafting damaged goods."

A source on a second team stressed that Peterson's re-injury was a "minor" consideration in the grand scheme of things.

"If we take, we take him because he's a good football player," the source said. "If it takes him time to heal, it takes him time. We're looking at his skills. But it's one of those things that everyone in the league knows about. He re-injured it in the Fiesta Bowl, but he kept playing."

Peterson told SI last week that he was "completely healthy," and that his collarbone injury had suffered no setbacks during the course of his rehabilitation. Peterson underwent a re-check from NFL medical personnel earlier this month at which time the status of his recovery was forwarded to NFL teams. That is a common step in the league's medical evaluation process for draft prospects with injury concerns discovered at the combine.

Peterson, the top-rated running back in the draft, is a candidate to go as high as No. 3 to Cleveland and is not expected, in any scenario, to last past No. 10 Houston.

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