In 2011, the best running back in the NFL had his year end early after suffering a torn ACL and MCL.
On Sunday, a similar injury claimed the season of the league's best cornerback.
The New York Jets' Darrelle Revis will wait two or three weeks before having surgery to repair an ACL tear, and then he will have six to nine months of recovery time ahead of him.
While it's an uphill battle to return from that kind of knee injury, Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson is showing that it's not career threatening. The four-time Pro Bowl selection raced back into action, seemingly ahead of every step of his recovery. In his first game in eight months since his injury, Peterson rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 1 overtime win over the Jaguars.
On Sunday, the Vikings' all-time leading rusher had 25 carries for 86 yards in a 24-13 upset of the San Francisco 49ers, who had the best run defense in the NFL in 2011.
The 27-year-old doesn't seem to have lost a step. But his performance wasn't even the most impressive by a running back in his first season back from an ACL injury. That honor would have to go to Kansas City Chiefs back Jamaal Charles, who amassed 233 yards rushing and another 55 yards receiving in Sunday's overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints. The Chiefs' 18-point, second-half comeback began with Charles' 91-yard touchdown scamper.
Charles, who suffered an ACL injury last September, had a couple more months to recover than Peterson.
Time will tell whether Peterson or Charles will ever be able to play at the same level they were at before the injury, but they have shown flashes of their old form in their first three weeks back.
The Jets are without the best shutdown corner in the NFL for the rest of 2012. But with the way athletes have been able to bounce back from serious knee injuries, don't desert Revis Island just yet.
- Jeffrey Tomik