At the end of the first quarter, Adrian Peterson took a handoff from his newest quarterback, Matthew Stafford, and charged forward. With holes seemingly to the left and right of his right tackle, Peterson instead ran right behind him. Clipped by his tackle and brought to the ground by a Carolina Panther defender, Peterson was stopped for a mere two-yard gain.
For a once elite running back with a career 4.7 yards per attempt, the run was objectively unsuccessful. For Peterson, who has averaged over 80 rushing yards per game in his 175 game NFL career, Sunday's game, in general, was not a success. Slotted back into a starting role when De'Andre Swift was ruled out with a concussion, Peterson finished Sunday with seven carries for 18 yards (both team leading totals), for 2.6 yards per attempt.
The 35-year-old Peterson is playing for the fifth team in his 13th NFL season. After starting his career with 10 elite years with the Minnesota Vikings, where he consistently led the league in rushing, he has lasted far longer than the average player, or even average star, often does at his position. Peterson currently sits with the fifth most rushing yards in NFL history (14,605 yards), the seventh most rushing attempts (3,140), fourth most rushing touchdowns. Peterson, regardless of when and why he decides to retire, is widely considered one of the greatest running backs in football history.
Will this be Peterson's last year?
After a dramatic end to Peterson's time in Minnesota, he has bounced around the league filling platoon and starting running back roles for the Cardinals, Saints, Football Team, and now the Lions.
With Kerryon Johnson and De'Andre Swift also manning the Lions backfield Peterson managed to win the starting job out of camp. In recent weeks, however, he had lost his job prior to Sunday's game and Swift's concussion.
Though Peterson, as one of the all-time greats, still garners respect around the league, it is clear his days of being an elite workhorse are in the past. Even he, a self-confident superstar, admitted he was surprised he remained atop the depth chart so long this season.
“It made sense to me,” said Peterson after being demoted to RB2. “Actually, when I was told, I was like, ‘You guys should have did this two, three weeks ago'."Published 24 Nov 2020, 08:16 IST