It’s become cliché to call Adrian Peterson a beast on the football field. The stats speak volumes.
The Minnesota Vikings franchise running back may have torn the ACL and MCL in his left knee during the 2011 season – but you wouldn’t even know it given the MVP season he had last year.
But the league’s rushing champion almost wasn’t able to perform at super-human levels. Before he was even cleared to practice last July, he suffered an allergic reaction to seafood.
“I couldn’t breathe out of my nose, I could barely breathe out of my mouth,” Peterson told theGrio.com.
Peterson was rushed to the hospital after a Vikings trainer stuck him with an EpiPen, which helped his breathing.
He later learned he had developed a severe allergy to certain seafood. The reaction, called ‘anaphylaxis,’ was life-threatening and understandably a different experience than rehabbing his damaged knee.
“The knee injury wasn’t life-threatening,” Peterson said. “Coming up with this [anaphylaxis] game plan is definitely more serious and more crucial. It definitely puts things in perspective.”
Peterson has recently partnered with pharmaceutical business Mylan Specialty to raise awareness on anaphylaxis. Peterson now carries two EpiPens with him everywhere he goes. Of all his off-season pursuits, his involvement in this campaign stands out for the 28-year-old.
“I signed [ a new deal] Nike – doing some other endorsement deals as well,” Peterson said. “Nothing as important as spreading the word on anaphylaxis. Food allergies are on the rise and people just aren’t prepared. I know I wasn’t.”
With his allergic episode behind him, Peterson returns to a Vikings team that won ten games last season, but fell to the Packers in the wildcard round of the playoffs. Peterson surpassed 2000 yards rushing, but he’s aiming for even higher in 2013-14.
“I’ve set my mark at 2500 yards,” Peterson said. “ is something for me to chase, something for me to reach. But that’s all under our team goals.”
If anyone in the league can crack 2000 yards again, it’s Peterson.
Follow theGrio’s Todd Johnson on Twitter @rantoddj