Adrian Peterson will not retire from the NFL to pursue track sprinting and the Olympics, according to ProFootballTalk, which reports he plans to play football in 2015.
The news came after Peterson was quoted by ESPN.com last week saying he considered returning to sprinting. The 29-year-old was a high school track and field standout.
“I’ve thought about going after the Olympics — you only live once,” Peterson said, according to the ESPN report. “I’ve seriously thought about this real hard. I continue to pray about it, but it’s been something that has been heavy, heavy on my heart.”
Peterson said he was interested in competing in the 200m and 400m, according to ESPN.
In high school, Peterson’s personal-best times were 10.19 seconds in the 100m and 47.6 in the 400m, according to Sports Illustrated. He also had a 200m personal best of 21.23, according to ESPN.
Those times were from more than 10 years ago.
The times that made the U.S. Olympic team at the 2012 trials finals were 9.93 in the 100m (10.27 to make the relay), 20.16 (wind-aided) in the 200m and 44.8 in the 400m (45.24 to make the relay).
Retired four-time Pro Bowl running back Ahman Green will take part in a USA Rugby recruitment camp in January. Rugby is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1924 in 2016, though the U.S. faces a tough road to qualify.
Current U.S. rugby player Carlin Isles spent a month on the Detroit Lions practice squad as a wide receiver last winter.
Forty NFL players have competed in a Summer Olympics — 33 in track and field, six in wrestling and one in handball — according to sports-reference.com.
The most successful NFL players in the Olympics were Cowboys receiver Bob Hayes, who won a Super Bowl title and Olympic gold medals in the 100m and 4x100m relay in 1964, and Jim Thorpe.
Thorpe, born in 1887, won the Olympic decathlon and pentathlon in 1912 and began playing in the NFL in 1920.
The only NFL regular-season player to compete in a Winter Olympics was Herschel Walker. The Heisman Trophy winner finished seventh in two-man bobsled in 1992.
Johnny Quinn, a former NFL preseason wide receiver, made the 2014 U.S. Olympic bobsled team.