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When it was originally reported that veteran Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson would join the Tennessee Titans this season, the anticipation was great. Due to Derrick Henry’s season-ending injury, the Titans are a run-first club with a glaring vacancy at running back.
Peterson is getting on in years. In recent seasons, he has had several solid games with the Detroit Lions and the Washington Football Team. In Tennessee, he might follow a road to success.
His time with the Titans, though, was brief. With Tennessee, Peterson only appeared in three games, accumulating 82 running yards on 27 runs. Following the Titans’ Week 11 game on November 23, he was released.
Adrian Peterson was added to the Seahawks’ practice squad.
December 1, 2021 — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet)
Peterson was fortunate in that he was just a free agent for a short time. The Seattle Seahawks and Peter Carroll jumped at the chance to sign him.
The Seahawks’ season in 2021 has been a complete catastrophe thus far, and they, too, are without their primary running back (Chris Carson). It’s difficult to see Peterson coming in and somehow turning around the Seahawks’ season. Seattle, on the other hand, is in a grave situation. For them, the risk is worthwhile.
Despite the potential to receive first-team reps in Seattle, everything does not seem to be well in Peterson’s camp. After his release from the Titans, Peterson’s father took an unprompted aim at the Vikings for not showing interest in his son.
The Vikings were slammed by Adrian Peterson’s father.
“That’s disappointing to me He never heard anything from the Vikings & you go in and bring in a guy Adrian beat out in Detroit (in 2020)” Nelson Peterson on #Vikings not reaching out to son Adrian Peterson after Dalvin Cook’s injury & bringing in ex-Lions RB Karryon Johnson for workout “That’s disappointing to me He never heard anything from the Vikings & you go in and bring in a guy Adrian beat out in Detroit (in 2020)”
December 1, 2021 — Chris Tomasson (@christomasson)
The Vikings, like the Titans and Seahawks, are suffering with injuries at the running back position. Dalvin Cook had a shoulder injury in Week 12 and will miss a few games. The Vikings were looking for a backup running back this week. They did, however, pass on the chance to bring back a fan favorite in Peterson.
Nelson Peterson was visibly dissatisfied with the choice made by the organization.
“That disappoints me,” (Nelson) Peterson remarked. “You go in and bring in a man Adrian knocked out in Detroit and he never hears from the Vikings.”
The Vikings eventually signed Kerryon Johnson, a former Detroit Lions running back who Peterson beat out for reps with the Lions in 2020. It’s logical that AP’s family members would be disturbed by such a decision.
The Vikings made the right decision by declining an AP reunion.
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images/Adrian Peterson
While a last-minute return to Minnesota for Peterson in the latter years of his NFL career would have been a fantastic feel-good tale, it’s important to recognize the Vikings’ current situation.
They’re in the thick of the NFC playoff chase right now, and Alexander Mattison is one of the league’s finest backup running backs. Taking a chance on a 36-year-old Peterson is the last thing they need to do right now.
As painful as it may be for Peterson and his family, the Vikings aren’t in the position to play the nostalgia game just yet. Maybe it would have been different if they were 3-8 like the Seahawks.
Peterson will also get the chance to compete for first-team reps in Seattle. In Minnesota, he would have been the undisputed backup to Mattison. Even if AP’s father is furious, this is the best-case situation for everyone concerned.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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