There had been chatter recently that the Minnesota Vikings don’t really need Adrian Peterson anymore.

The Vikings were 5-0 riding into Philly on Sunday morning, but a few hours later it became clear that it couldn’t hurt to have the best running back in football active. Matt Asiata was the Vikings’ No. 1 rusher in the 21-10 loss, rushing for 55 yards on 12 carries. With Sam Bradford struggling, the Vikings ran the ball 27 times but their backs could not produce.

So, could Peterson return for the stretch run? It’s possible.

Peterson is eligible to come off the Injured Reserve list on Nov. 18, which means the absolute earliest he could dress for the Vikings would be Week 11 (Nov. 20) at home against the Arizona Cardinals. The Vikings will not rush him back, though (nor will Peterson want to rush back himself given his contract status).

“Once those guys go on the IR list, they’re dead cards for eight weeks, and then we just have to re-evaluate where we’re at, with all the guys,” Vikings GM Rick Spielman told TwinCities.com on Oct. 12. “Usually Adrian becomes strong as the season goes, and goes stronger as the games progress. So I look at it as he’s going to do everything he can to get back … That’s at least eight, nine weeks of not taking hits on that body, which is going to make him pretty fresh.”

Minnesota plays at Detroit on Thanksgiving and that game is lining up to be huge when it comes to the NFC playoff picture. The following Thursday, the Vikings host Dallas in another game that will have huge playoff implications.

We’ve heard “December” for weeks now when it comes to a potential Peterson return, so here’s guessing No. 28 will be back on Dec. 1 against the Cowboys on National TV.