Peterson had missed the previous two games with a ligament injury.
His fellow running back, Chester Taylor, ran for 70 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Tavaris Jackson passed for 204 yards and two scores. Aundrae Allison ran a kickoff back 103 yards for another touchdown.
The resurgent Vikings (6-6) moved into contention for a potential NFC wild card berth.
Jon Kitna completed 27 of 36 passes for 260 yards and a touchdown for the Lions (6-6), who have lost four in a row.