Adrian Peterson calls Vikings’ performance Monday night ‘embarrassing’

Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson runs against San Francisco on Monday night.

Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson runs against San Francisco on Monday night.

(Carlos Gonzalez / TNS)

Adrian Peterson made his return to the football field Monday night after missing more than a year while dealing with child abuse allegations.

But it was not a night to remember for the two-time NFL rushing champ or the Minnesota Vikings. Peterson carried the ball 10 times for 31 yards, the eighth lowest total in his nine-year career, as the Vikings were outplayed by the San Francisco 49ers, 20-3.

“It felt good to get out there, play some football, take some hits,” said Peterson, who also caught three passes for 21 yards. “But [it was] definitely embarrassing to perform the way we did.”

Peterson hasn’t played since last season’s opening game. He was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list after being indicted on child abuse charges, then was suspended by the league in November after pleading no contest to a count of misdemeanor reckless assault and being sentenced to probation.


He was reinstated in April.

Yes, Peterson said “we” not “I” when talking about the embarrassing performance on Monday night, and he was right. It was an ugly game all around for the Vikings.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was sacked five times, including once for a 10-yard loss after running into his own teammate, and completed 23 of 32 passes for 231 yards with an interception, for a passer rating of 79.0.

“What you saw tonight was not a representation of the 2015 Vikings,” Bridgewater said. “It’s a reality check. Tonight shows us that we’re really not near as good as everyone thought we were.”

The Vikings defense allowed the 49ers’ Carlos Hyde to rush for 168 yards, including touchdown runs of 17 and 10 yards, in his first career start.

Coach Mike Zimmer said: “Maybe we’re just not ready for prime time yet. This performance leads me to believe in that. Everybody’s been talking about us for 11 months, and maybe we thought we were a little bit better than what we were.”