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Vikings RB McKinnon Wants to Be the Man, If Peterson Doesn't Return

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Minnesota Vikings have stated all along that they would like running back Adrian Peterson back, but if he doesn't return, sophomore Jerick McKinnon wants to be the man they rely on.

McKinnon started six games last year after Peterson was suspended and rushed for 538 yards and pulled in 37 passes for 135 yards.

"If A.P. comes back, there's no doubt he's going to be the starter," McKinnon told the Pioneer Press this week.  "But it's not going to change my mindset or how I approach things or how I work. Whatever they do, my mindset is to come in and be that guy next year."

"There's no doubt in my mind I can last the season," McKinnon said. "If that's something I have to prove, that's not a big deal for me. I'll prove it this year. I'm just really excited to get back out there with my teammates and coaches and show how far I've come since surgery."

Peterson is still under contract as he waits to be reinstated into the league by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

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