Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not play during preseason

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said he won't play in the preseason this year.

Peterson, the league's reigning rushing champion, last played in the preseason in 2013, when he saw action in one series against the San Francisco 49ers. He hasn't carried the ball in a preseason game since 2011, and earlier this preseason, coach Mike Zimmer indicated it would be Peterson's decision whether he wanted to play in the preseason or not.

On Thursday, the running back said he'd discussed it with it Zimmer, and the two agreed it was best for him not to play.

"Ultimately, he wasn't going to force me to go out there and play," Peterson said. "I've been doing it for a long time. He trusts me, we trust each other. He understood."

At the end of last season, Zimmer said he "probably made some mistakes" by not doing more to re-introduce Peterson to the Vikings' offense following his 2014 suspension, and it took the Vikings several weeks to find a fit between Peterson - who hadn't played much out of the shotgun - and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

The Vikings all but scrapped shotgun runs for Peterson after he gained just 10 yards on four shotgun carries in a Week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, and as Peterson talked about a desire to be more versatile in the offense following the 2015 season, it seemed possible the Vikings would consider playing him in the 2016 preseason.

Peterson, though, said Thursday he's feeling more comfortable with his reads out of the shotgun.

"Just being more patient, that's always been the main thing," Peterson said. "I've been able, I feel, to conquer that now. I feel real comfortable taking runs out of the shotgun, and I'm liking it more. I was always against running out of the shotgun, but now that I've kind of switched and tweaked my way of approaching it, things are working out good."