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Bears vs. Vikings: Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson comes back from injury as MVP candidate

Minnesota's Adrian Peterson is the NFL's top running back less than a year removed from tearing ligaments in his left knee.

Andy King

When the Bears meet the Vikings Sunday, Chicago's defense will have the challenge of stopping Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson. Less than a year after tearing the ACL and MCL in his left knee, Peterson is making a case to be the league's MVP.

Peterson has gained 1,128 yards on the ground this season and averages 112.8 per game. Those numbers both lead the NFL, and his yards-per-game average is on pace to be the best of his career. Peterson averages 5.8 yards per carry, has scored seven touchdowns, and his 13 rushes of 20 yards or more easily lead the league. No other player has more than nine.

After suffering such a significant injury so late last year, it would have been a safe bet to assume Peterson would be hobbled this season. That hasn't been the case, and he seems to be better than he was before getting hurt:

"It's hard for me to believe he's better than he was before the surgery, but some of the things he has done make me believe it," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said.

The Bears and Vikings square off Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago. Kickoff is set for noon CT, and the game will be televised by FOX.