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Adrian Peterson has started sprinting at practice

Adrian Peterson continues to take steps forward in his rehab from a torn meniscus.

Those steps took the form of sprints at practice Tuesday morning, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Vikings’ running back has been cleared to sprint and did that while his teammates went through drills in preparation for Thursday’s home game against the Cowboys.

Peterson led the NFL with 1,485 rushing yards last season. It was the third time he led the league in rushing. The Vikings are last in the league with an average of 2.8 yards per carry. They could use Peterson’s services, especially since they’ve lost five of their last six games and are a game behind the first-place Lions in the NFC North. Since they’ve lost twice to the Lions, they’re essentially three games back in the division because it won’t do them any good to finish tied with the Lions.

Before Peterson is ready to return, however, he’ll have to graduate from sprinting to cutting.

After facing the Cowboys, the Vikings go to Jacksonville, host Indianapolis, go to Green Bay and host Chicago. The schedule gets easier after Thursday, but it might not matter if Peterson isn’t back.

[Pro Football Talk]