(Reuters) - Minnesota Vikings fans welcomed back Adrian Peterson with a standing ovation on Sunday and the running back thanked them with 192 yards of offense in the Vikings’ first victory of the season.
Peterson, 30, played only one game for Minnesota last season after he was suspended following child abuse charges involving the disciplining of his 4-year-old son that were eventually reduced to a misdemeanor.
“It felt good,” Peterson, a six-times Pro Bowler and the 2012 league most valuable player, said about the ovation. “If you could have seen me running through the tunnel, I had a lot of energy from that warm welcome. It felt good to be home.
“It felt good to be back.”
Peterson did not score a touchdown, but was a key contributor in the 26-16 win over the Detroit Lions in his first home game in more than 21 months.
A year ago, Peterson played on the road in the Vikings’ season opener, but he was then deactivated after his indictment for inflicting injury to his child. He later pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault for hitting his son with a switch.
Against Detroit, the Minnesota running back rushed for 134 yards on 29 carries and made two receptions for 58 more yards.
One of the big plays came when Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was about to get sacked, partly because of a missed block by Peterseon, but flipped the ball to his running back for a 49-yard gain in the second quarter.
“It was a heads up play by Teddy, making something happen,” Peterson told reporters. “You see at the end of the play I’m beating my head, still thinking about the block I missed.”
Peterson appeared to score a touchdown in the first half, but a video review showed his knee touched down before he entered the end zone.
Still, the home crowd chanted “A-P, A-P,” in support.
“It was good for Adrian and it was good for us as well,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said. “It was good for the fans. They’re used to seeing this big No. 28 barreling down.
“He ran with a vengeance.”
Peterson was charged with two fumbles but his play pushed the Vikings in front early. He rushed the ball four times in Minnesota’s first five plays, including a 25-yard gain on his fourth touch.
That outburst allowed Peterson to set a Vikings record for combined net yards, surpassing Hall of Fame receiver Chris Carter’s mark of 12,410 yards.
Peterson’s performance against Detroit was much better than his season debut against the San Francisco 49ers, when he rushed for 31 yards on 10 carries in a 20-3 road loss last Monday.
“We took it personally,” Peterson said. “Hurt us to the core. So today we came out with a purpose, in a divisional game, and took care of business.”
Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto; Editing by Larry Fine