(UPI) -- Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson said his hamstring injury made him hesitant when running the ball over the last few games.
The 28-year-old running back bruised his right hamstring about five weeks ago, but the injury gradually caused him some tightness which affected the way he ran in recent games.
"I feel like it was definitely hurting a little bit," he said. "I feel like it was more in my mind. It’s strange to say that, but I think I was kind of holding myself back, not being able to stretch out and really run. I think I was kind of hindering myself. Now that I’m able to be more relaxed and got a clearer mind, I think I’ll be able to go out there and go full-speed.”
Peterson, who lost a 2-year-old son he'd never met last week, explained he's been dealing with the increasing pain for about 4 to 5 weeks.
"The way that it came on wasn’t like a normal hamstring, like a tweak or anything like that. It kind of gradually became sore, kind of climbed up from the bottom of my hamstring, up to the middle. I didn’t really know what was wrong, but I’m feeling good now. I’ve been doing a lot of work with [head athletic trainer] Eric Sugarman and his staff. They’ve been keeping me in the training room, keeping me ready.”
The five-time Pro Bowler added that his decrease in touches, he had only 23 carries combined in the last two games, is not related to his injury.
"They didn't know anything about it until maybe like last week," he said. "That's when I really felt, okay, I'm starting to feel something now that could slow me down a little bit. I really didn't say anything to those guys until like last week. Just told them there's tightness."