Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson makes his way off...

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson makes his way off a practice field at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minn. (Oct. 11, 2013) Credit: AP

You’d think that while Terrell Thomas was sitting out rehabbing from a torn ACL last season he was drawing some inspiration from what Adrian Peterson was able to accomplish.

“Nope,” Thomas said. “Not even a little bit.”

Just months after having his ACL torn in December 2011, Peterson ran for 2,097 yards in 2012 and was named the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in the league. But Thomas, who was overcoming his third knee reconstruction and second in a little over a year, wasn’t impressed.

“I was happy for his success, but it didn’t help me,” Thomas said. “What he went through, I already did that. I came back off an ACL. Came back and had a great year. Came back in four months and ran a 4.3, blah blah blah. I did all that.”

Thomas said he was more inspired by Thomas Davis, the Panthers linebacker who was blazing a path for three-time ACL reconstruction cases. Davis played last year and is the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week. He had two sacks and 10 tackles against the Vikings last week.

“I texted him and told him I was proud of him,” Thomas said. “He’s getting back to his old self.”

So what about Thomas? Is he getting back to his old self after missing two full NFL seasons?

“It’s a work in progress,” he said. “Every week it’s a battle. The healthier the knee feels the better I am, but I’m still getting in the swing of things, still getting my legs underneath me. I definitely feel a lot fresher this week having a couple of days off and I can’t wait to see how I feel after the bye. And I know after the season is over I’ll definitely start to feel a lot better because I’ll have a full offseason to train and not rehab. That’s the formula. That’s how it goes.”

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