An old NFL adage states that running backs will run into an invisible wall when they reach 30 years of age, at which point the player's production will rapidly fall off the face of the earth.
Adrian Peterson turns 30-years-old on March 21. Should the Vikings, if they bring him back next season, be worried about Peterson's production going on the decline?
Former MVP running back Marshall Faulk, part of the St. Louis Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" in the late 1990s and early 2000s, isn't worried about Peterson losing his stride, according to the Pioneer Press.
Faulk, now part of the NFL Network crew, told Pioneer Press reporter Chris Tomasson that players are taken care of better and they don't get hit as much in practice compared to when he played from 1994-2005.
Last July, before Peterson's child abuse case became public knowledge, the former MVP running back said the 30-year-old wall doesn't apply to him.
"The same thing I thought when they say ACL, you'll never come back from it," Peterson told the AP's Jon Krawczynski. "It is what is. It doesn't apply to me. I have a totally different mindset and mind frame, so I'll just stay in my lane and let everybody else say what they have to say."
The question is if Peterson will end up like most backs, or some of the all-timers who didn't slow down at 30.
Cowboys Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, the league's all-time leading rusher, saw his numbers decline after turning 30, although he did eclipse 1,000 yards from 30 to 32. Walter Payton rushed for at least 1,300 yards in four straight seasons after turning 30. Another example is Curtis Martin, who rushed for a career-high 1,697 yards when he was 31.
Peterson is currently serving a suspension and he is not eligible for reinstatement until at least April 15. However, the NFL Players Association is suing the NFL on behalf of Peterson and the first hearing in a Minneapolis federal court is set for Feb. 6.
As it stands now, the Vikings' hands are tied with any decision involving Peterson.
Head coach Mike Zimmer told KFAN's Paul Allen on Wednesday that they are "going to have a couple of different plans for if Adrian can get back, and if he can’t."