The Minnesota Vikings received an unexpected boost on Wednesday afternoon, when running back Adrian Peterson made his return to practice from a meniscus injury and was designated to come off injured reserve. The impact of Peterson going forward can't be understated - he's one of the best talents of his generation. But fantasy owners and Minnesota Vikings fans should likely have very different expectations.

Fantasy impact

Peterson likely won't return to the field during Week 15, instead targeting Week 16 against the Green Bay Packers as his chance to take the field again this season. For many fantasy Football owners, it will already be too late for him to make any sort of impact - most leagues will be starting or concluding their championship round in Week 16.

For players who are battling for a championship, though (or who care about what place they finish in for bragging rights), the return of Peterson has the opportunity to make a sizable impact. Running back has been a tricky position this season unless an owner has Le'Veon Bell, David Johnson, or Ezekiel Elliot. People are either being injured at the position weekly, or there are NFL teams where one player gets the yardage while another gets the score. With the lackluster play of Minnesota running backs, Peterson could be a three-down back immediately who can give someone yardage and touchdowns, meaning more points.

Vikings impact

Keep in mind that Peterson wasn't terribly good in the two games he played in before going down with an injury.

His impact was minimal, carrying the ball 31 times for just 50 yards. The real problem was the offensive line, which has only deteriorated in his absence, and won't be able to help him carry the ball far upon his return.

After a hot start to the season, the Vikings are currently sitting at 7-6, one game behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the last NFC Wild Card spot.

Peterson will open up the running game and allow the passing attack to be more effective when he returns, but with the Packers' top ten rushing defense and Chicago's middle of the pack defense, it may prove to be too little, too late for Peterson to make an impact.

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