x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

NFL: Adrian Peterson targeting Emmit Smith's all-time rushing record

Minnesota Vikings running back predicts he will surpass Emmit Smith's all-time NFL rushing record in 2017 while Seattle Seahawks' Percy Harvin will have hip surgery and miss start of season.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson looks on during training camp. Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson looks on during training camp. Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

Adrian Peterson has his sights on Emmitt Smith's NFL career rushing record and said he expects to break the mark in 2017, even circling a date on the NFL calendar as to when he will accomplish the feat.

The Minnesota Vikings running back finished just eight yards shy of Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record (2,105) last season, when he rushed for 2,097 yards. Peterson has said his goal is to reach 2,500 yards in 2013.

But he also has targeted Smith's record of 18,355 yards, and told the Star-Tribune that he expects to break the record in Week 16 of the 2017 season, even though his current pace would have him approaching the mark in Week 4 of the 2019 season.

Peterson, 28, currently has 8,849 yards. His estimate would mean it would take him 79 games to rush for the 9,507 yards needed to set the all-time rushing mark, which would require him to average 120.3 yards per game in that span.

"Whoo. That's pushing it, huh? But hey, pushing it is the only way to do it. You know it," he told the newspaper.

If Peterson does become the NFL's all-time leading rusher, he would make history in another category as well.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Smith holds the record for most rushing yards after a player's 28th birthday with 8,195, meaning Peterson would shatter that mark if he vaults atop the all-time rushing list. Meanwhile, Peterson is laughing at gripes by players about the rule making it mandatory to wear knee and thigh pads this season. Peterson wore the pads last season and shrugs off claims that the pads will slow down players during games.

"It's like, 'You're a National Football League player. If a pad that doesn't weigh but a couple of ounces slows you down, you don't need to be playing in this league.' Like, come on now. Seriously," he told FoxSports.com, adding that the pads are valuable for the protection they provide."

Hip surgery will sideline Seattle's Percy Harvin

Percy Harvin will have hip surgery on Thursday, sidelining the dynamic wide receiver for the start of his first season with the Seattle Seahawks.

Harvin made the announcement on his Twitter account, hours after getting a second opinion on the injury in New York. The Seahawks then said the operation was scheduled for today, but no timetable for recovery was provided.

Harvin was seeking more information about the hip soreness in the area of his labrum that popped up just before the Seahawks opened training camp. Harvin noted the discomfort when he reported for camp last week.

“When everything is goin good sometimes life throw u a curve ball … sorry to half to report that my injury will require surgery,” Harvin wrote on his Twitter page. “Nobody was more anxious and excited about season then … but I will be back strong as ever.”

The loss of Harvin is significant, but not a huge setback for a team that rely on the legs of Marshawn Lynch and timely passing by Russell Wilson to drive the offence. Seattle invested significantly in Harvin, giving up draft picks to acquire him from Minnesota and signing him to a six-year deal reportedly worth up to $67 million.

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