Running back Adrian Peterson has found a home for his twelfth season as a professional football player. Washington has signed the 33-year-old, hoping he has another year of productive play left in the tank.
Washington apparently decided to bring in the veteran after looking at its in-house candidates to replace the injured rookie Derrius Guice, who the team selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Guice tore ligaments in his knee in the first preseason game and will miss the entirety of the season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 20, 2018
Washington chose Peterson over some other notable running back who remain free agents as the regular season approaches. A list that includes Eddie Lacy, Jamaal Charles, and Orleans Darkwa, among others. Peterson, however, has seen his numbers decline since he was the league’s premier workhorse running back in Minnesota.
Adrian Peterson has averaged 3.1 yards per rush over the last two seasons.
That’s the third-fewest yards per rush attempt among players with at least 150 rushes over that span. pic.twitter.com/8JOqiLpm9T
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 20, 2018
Last season, Peterson split time with the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals. After being a non-factor in New Orleans (with the presence of Mark Ingram and emergence of Alvin Kamara), he was granted his release and went to Arizona to fill in for the then-injured David Johnson.
In total, 2017 saw Adrian Peterson carry the ball 156 times for 529 yards (a 3.4-yard average) and just two touchdowns. He also added 11 catches for 70 yards.
Further, Washington was down to only three healthy running backs in recent practices. Aside from Guice, Samaje Perine was out with an ankle sprain and Byon Marshall unable to participate with a lower leg injury. That left Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, and Kapri Bibbs as the only healthy alternatives. With Adrian Peterson now on board, things could get interesting come cut day as one of Perine, Kelley, Thompson, or Bibbs could become something of a surprise cut.