Will Adrian Peterson break Barry Sanders record in Detroit?

Adrian Peterson, Washington Football Team (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Adrian Peterson, Washington Football Team (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Adrian Peterson can break this record held by an all-time Detroit Lions’ great

Less than a week ago, the Detroit Lions signed Adrian Peterson to a one-year, $1.05 million contract that includes incentives. This move may come as a surprise to some as the Lions have two young running backs in Kerryon Johnson and rookie D’Andre Swift who they’d like to give touches to.

This was a good and needed signing though. Swift was dealing with an injury all of training camp, they released their sixth-round pick in running back Jason Huntley and Johnson is still unproven after a shaky 2019 campaign.

Meanwhile last season with Washington, Peterson performed better than any Lions running back on the team. He rushed for 898 yards on 211 attempts (average of 4.3 yards per carry) with five touchdowns.

By bringing in Peterson to Detroit, he’d be able to mentor the Lions young running backs. With the former 2012 MVP on the Lions roster, not only would Johnson and Swift be able to learn a lot from him but so would everyone on the roster.

Despite being 35-years old, Peterson can still put up quality numbers and production on the field. As he rushed for 898 yards last season during his age 34 season, his season prior was even better. In 2018, he rushed for 1,042 yards with seven touchdowns which came off of three consecutive lost seasons where he combined to only play 13 games. Everyone thought his career was over but Peterson proved everyone wrong.

The Lions didn’t bring in Peterson just to have a veteran on the team, they brought him in to help the team win. With how Peterson has played over the past two years, he’s an excellent addition in a crowded Lions backfield.

That being said, he’s also gunning for a record that is held by an all-time Lions’ great. Peterson currently has 14,216 career rushing yards, good for the fifth-most in NFL history. The guy ahead of him? Barry Sanders, who spent his whole career with the Lions where he amassed 15,269 rushing yards.

Peterson needs 1,054 yards on the ground to surpass Sanders for the fourth-most rushing yards in NFL history. Will he do it in a Lions jersey? My bet would be no. The Lions backfield is crowded with options.

The team still wants to give Johnson a chance to prove himself and Swift will need touches as well. The more they use Johnson or Swift, the less opportunities there are for Peterson to move up on the all-time rushing yards list.

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Although there is an outside chance that it could happen. Johnson could struggle or get injured again which he’s made a home of missing games with injuries. Swift could struggle or get injured as well which he’s currently dealing with a hip injury. All it takes is bad performances or injuries from one of them which would help Peterson’s cause of moving up and passing Sanders.