Former Lions running back Adrian Peterson to continue strained pursuit of rushing records
Adrian Peterson spent the 2020 season with the Lions, and now he has a chance to continue his strained pursuit of historical NFL rushing marks.
For many years, Adrian Peterson terrorized the Detroit Lions with the Minnesota Vikings. After playing for a few other teams in between, Peterson spent the 2020 season with the Lions and led the team in rushing (604 yards).
That the shell of what Peterson led them in rushing last year says more about the Lions than it does him, and their lack of willingness to use D’Andre Swift for a big chunk of his rookie season. So it wasn’t surprising the 36-year old future Hall of Famer did not find work this offseason, even as he has been easy to mention as an available option for teams that may need a running back.
With Derrick Henry likely out for the season after foot surgery, the Tennessee Titans worked out Peterson on Monday. On Tuesday, they officially announced the move to sign him to their practice squad among some other roster moves. The picture on the tweet even shows Peterson in a Lions uniform.
Adrian Peterson in line for chance to continue strained pursuit of rushing marks
Last year’s run with the Lions put Peterson clearly in fifth place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list (14,820 yards). Another 450 yards would put him ahead of Barry Sanders (15,269 yards) for fourth all-time. With nine games to go for the Titans this season, that would be mean averaging 50 rushing yards per game (if he plays all nine). If he plays next season, from the start or at some point like now, it’s practically inevitable he’ll pass Sanders.
Peterson’s goal of surpassing Emmitt Smith as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher effectively went away when an off-field issue cost him most of the 2014 season. Then a knee injury cost him most of the 2016 campaign. That hasn’t stopped him from remaining delusional about a pursuit of Smith, right into the summer of 2020.
Lions fans can watch Peterson from afar now. While doing so, crossing their fingers he doesn’t hang on so long he meanders his way to passing a true franchise legend on the league’s all-time rushing list is an easy order.