Adrian Peterson was able to come back from a devastating ACL injury and the very next season chase the single-season rushing record held by Eric Dickerson. AP fell nine yards short of the record with 2,109 yards, but did lead the Minnesota Vikings to a 10-6 season and a playoff berth after the team had only managed a 3-13 season the year before. AP also secured the NFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year awards over Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (maybe you’ve heard of him). When an athlete makes a recovery like this and performs at such a high level in so short a time period, there are always questions about whether the recovery was augmented by artificial means.
AP made some interesting statements regarding Human Growth Hormones (HGH) according to the National Football Post.
“You’ve got HGH, something that doesn’t show up on a test, and you’ve got guys out there trying to provide for their families….They’re going to try to get that edge, get that advantage, especially if they’re not worried about trying to get caught. Yeah, it’s being used”
While Peterson did not assert that he has seen or heard directly from players that they use HGH, he seems to be quite confident that players are taking advantage of “that edge” while they still can. The NFL is trying to implement a testing program to cut down on the incentive for players to use HGH and while there have been indications that such a program could begin as early as this season, that remains to be seen.
AP is certainly ready for the NFL to start testing players for the supplement:
“[Testing] will bring a lot of people to light,” Peterson said. “It’ll clear a lot of people, on the outside, their curiosity when it comes to different players. So I’m all-in for it. I don’t worry about those types of supplements, using those, because I’m all natural”
AP is not the only NFL star to come out in favor of HGH testing. Cam Newton, Dwight Freeney, and Larry Fitzgerald are also among those players that want HGH testing. Although HGH does provide athletes with an unfair advantage, it has also been linked to diabetes, cardiac dysfunction, and arthritis. Hopefully by testing for HGH, the NFL will not only create a more level playing field, but also provide for the long-term health of players using or looking to use the substance, perhaps without knowing the possible side-effects.