Vikings RB Adrian Peterson runs sprints at practice, 'ahead of schedule'

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Adrian Peterson continues to make progress toward a possible return this season.

The Minnesota Vikings running back ran some short sprints in the end zone of the team's indoor practice field on Tuesday, continuing his rehab from the torn right meniscus he suffered in September. Sources had told ESPN last week that Peterson was cleared to begin running, and coach Mike Zimmer said Tuesday was not Peterson's first time running on a field, but the running back's appearance at practice showed he still is heading in the right direction toward playing again this season.

"He's doing good," Zimmer said, "He's probably ahead of schedule, I guess."

The typical recovery timetable after a full meniscus repair, which Peterson had on Sept. 22, is thought to be at least three to four months. Sources told ESPN earlier this month that Peterson could be on the early end of that timetable, with a return on Dec. 18 against the Indianapolis Colts or Dec. 24 against the Green Bay Packers appearing to be distinct possibilities.

Zimmer would not discuss on Tuesday a timetable for when Peterson could practice or possibly return to action.

"We'll worry about all that when that happens," Zimmer said. "Right now, we have to focus on Dallas and their team."

Peterson's possible return could provide a boost to the league's 32nd-ranked running game, and the sight of him on the practice field seemed to deliver a lift to the Vikings' locker room before Thursday's game against the Cowboys.

"He looked good," guard Alex Boone said. "It kind of caught me off guard a little bit. We were doing a little walk-through, and he was running around. We look forward to his return."