Renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews called Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson a "miracle" who defied the odds by winning NFL MVP honors in 2012, less than a year removed from major reconstructive knee surgery.
Peterson's genetic makeup is impressive. But in the NFL, the 29-year-old's future, like every other player in the league, is clouded by stories from players of the NFL's past that continue to struggle with aches, pains, nerve damage and other chronic and critical health issues.
According to ESPN, Peterson has empathy for the more than 600 former players involved in a class-action lawsuit against the NFL for providing them with prescription-free medication and painkillers without disclosing the inherent risks involved with taking the medication.
"It's a very unfortunate situation," Peterson said, via the Star Tribune. "Anything I've taken to subside pain I knew what it was, and it was not ever forced on me. The side effects? I don't know if that was ever explained to them back then."
According to Today.com, the lawsuit claims the NFL "legally and unethically substituted pain medications for proper health care to keep the NFL's tsunami of dollars flowing."
"I hope things work out in their favor," Peterson added. "The NFL now and then, maybe this will give us insight into what happened back then. You make your own decisions, but if (repercussions) are not laid out to you ..."
J.D. Hill, a wide receiver for the Bills and Lions in the 1970's, says he became addicted to the drugs, as reported by CBS News.
"I was provided uppers, downers, painkillers, you name it while in the NFL," said Hill, who is one of six plaintiffs in the lawsuit. "I became addicted and turned to the streets after my career and was homeless. Never took a drug in my life, and I became a junkie in the NFL."
Last year, the NFL agreed to a $765 million settlement with more than 4,800 former players who sued the NFL over concussions.