Adrian Peterson explains why he's 'itching' to play in the preseason this year

NFL stars avoid presesaon snaps like the plague. Every year, big-name players get injured in the mostly meaningless games, which ultimately impacts their teams' chances at deep playoff runs. All that has led to fans and players calling for fewer preseason games given the injury history tied to them.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson isn't one of those people, though. He can't wait to play in the preseason this year, which is something he hasn't done since 2011.

"I feel like getting out there and playing a little bit," Peterson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "It's something that once that time comes around, I'll have a better feel for, like, 'Hey, I need to get out there just to kind of get the legs moving and get the pads (on) a little bit.' I can tell you, though, I'm definitely more itching towards playing a little more in the preseason than I have the past seven, eight years."

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The Minnesota Vikings have played it very safe with Peterson in the preseason. Since he tore his ACL in 2011, they've held him out of every game. That's what makes it so surprising he's "itching" to play this time around.

"Well, to be honest with you, I think in last year's case, after sitting out a year, it would have helped a little bit (playing in the preseason)," Peterson said. "But I think like (10) carries against San Francisco, that's not going to allow your best player to get off to a great start anyway. ... I am calling for (playing in the 2016 preseason)."

Head coach Mike Zimmer might have different plans, but there's no denying Peterson's desire to get on the field in August.