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Adrian Peterson puts the pads back on, returns to front of the line for Vikings

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MANKATO, Minnesota — While many Minnesota Vikings veterans see the first padded practices of training camp as a necessary evil, Adrian Peterson couldn't wait for the day.

PHOTO: FILE - In this Wednesday, June 17, 2015,  file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) walks across the field during NFL football minicamp in Eden Prairie, Minn. The sideshow that overshadowed last season has been dismantled, following Peterson's reinstatement from NFL suspension. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, June 17, 2015, file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) walks across the field during NFL football minicamp in Eden Prairie, Minn. The sideshow that overshadowed last season has been dismantled, following Peterson's reinstatement from NFL suspension. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)

It's been 10 months since Peterson exchanged blows on the football field with a defender, thanks to his exile last season after he was charged with child abuse.

Peterson says he's been looking forward to having the shoulder pads back on for a long time. He showed it on the first day of contact on Tuesday when he lowered his shoulder on safety Robert Blanton.

Vikings owner Mark Wilf says he's happy to see Peterson on the field and smiling again after so much drama surrounding the organization and the face of the franchise.

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