Adrian Peterson on Gurley: 'I love what this young guy's doing'

Todd Gurley's NFL career has barely left the gate, but that hasn't stopped the Rams' rookie sensation from quickly earning a well-deserved reputation as one of the league's elite running backs.

Despite sitting out the season's first two games as he wrapped up his rehabilitation from a torn ACL, Gurley ranks fifth in league rushing (575 yards) thanks to a league-leading 115 yards-per-game average. Amari Cooper withstanding, he's considered a favorite to win some rookie-of-the-year hardware on Super Bowl eve.

All of this hasn't been lost on Adrian Peterson. Arguably the greatest running back of his generation, Peterson will get to see Gurley up close Sunday when the Vikings play host to Rams. From what he's seen, Peterson is impressed with what Gurley has accomplished so far.

"He's aggressive, he plays physical and he has great feet and great vision, too," Peterson told NFL Network's Nate Burleson on NFL Total Access on Tuesday. "I love what this young guy's doing. I wish him well, but not this week against us. He's a talented young guy. He's hungry."

Part of Peterson's admiration for Gurley comes from how he managed to perform at such a high level since returning from the ACL tear he suffered during his final season at Georgia. Peterson understands the complexities involved with returning from such a devastating injury -- after tearing his ACL in 2011, Peterson finished just nine yards shy of breaking the single-season record for rushing yards in 2012.


"(Gurley) came off an ACL injury. I know how that is," Peterson said. "I know the mindset that it takes, the mental focus it takes, work ethic to come back from that. To be able to come out and have the type of season that he's having, I take my hat off to him."

For his part, the 21-year-old Gurley is looking forward to being on the same field as the man he called "the gold standard."

"A guy as great as him, everybody is going to look at him and try to model their game after him," Gurley told the Rams' official website. "You can consider him the best."

Peterson isn't the only running back with a Vikings heritage to heap praise on Gurley. Former NFL star Herschel Walker visited the Rams' practice facility Tuesday and told reporters that Gurley flashes Hall of Fame-caliber talent.

"If you look at the guy and how athletic he is ... the first thing I thought was Gale Sayers," Walker said, per WGNU-AM. "The Rams have someone to rally behind. When you have someone to rally behind, you go out and beat people. The Rams got Todd. He's exciting to watch. He's almost like Adrian Peterson."

That's the comparison everyone will be watching for Sunday.