Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr. and Joe Burrow have a lot in common: they all suffered devastating ACL injuries and all three are getting advice from one of the all-time greats on how to bounce back.
Adrian Peterson, who bounced back from an ACL tear in 2011 and is still playing at 35 with the Lions, told TMZ Sports that he is trying to help other stars around the league with their knee injuries.
He has already been in touch with Barkley and Beckham and added that he plans to reach out to Burrow, too.
“To be that poster child for [ACL recovery] is what I envisioned,” Peterson said. “Because now people, they look at it, and they say, ‘You know what? I can do that. I’ll be able to come back.’”
Peterson tore his ACL and MCL in his left knee during Week 16 in 2011 and not only did he return in time to compete in the following season, he rushed for a career-high 2,097 yards, averaging six yards a carry and finished with 12 rushing touchdowns to win the NFL MVP award.
The future Hall of Famer said part of his advice to the other guys included his old rehab routines, workouts and milestones they can check off as they work their way back. But the most important thing, he says, is the mental challenge.
“I’ve always had the mindset of not allowing the world to box you in – not allowing what other ones might see as hard or impossible,” Peterson said. “Don’t let that box you in where you can’t open your mind to realize that we are incredible human beings that God has possessed with the ability to do some amazing things if we are able to allow our minds to go outside the box and do the impossible.”