Adrian Peterson

Power 100 rank: 27
Rank last year: 33
Sport: NFL/Minnesota Vikings—RB
Age: 26
Most recent notable achievement: Pro Bowl MVP 2011
Earnings: $14,000,000
Key sponsors: Nike, CytoSport

Why he’s on the list: A masterful running back, “Purple Jesus” would be higher on our list were it not for a tough couple of years. This is the first year that A.D. has rushed for fewer than 1,000 yards. Moreover, he tore two ligaments in his knee during a December game, making it unclear if he’ll be ready for the 2012 season. He’s recognizable and fun to watch, but other running backs are quickly filling in the top spots above him.

Photograph by Donald Miralle/Getty Images
 
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