DETROIT, MI — With the NFL season set to start next week, and players and teams making their final preparations, one team that may have caught lightning in a bottle is the Detroit Lions in signing 35-year-old running back, Adrian Peterson.
Peterson, released by the Washington Football Team on Friday, reunites with his former offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings, Darrell Bevell. The signing of Peterson comes on the heels of first-round pick D’Andre Swift being limited in practice the last two weeks after suffering a soft-tissue injury, makes the former standout from Oklahoma and the seventh overall in the 2007 NFL Draft a realistic option to start and appear in Detroit’s Week 1 home matchup against the visiting Chicago Bears.
Unlike his recent stops in Washington, Arizona and during the first few seasons with the Vikings, Peterson will not be counted on and relied upon to be the main focal point of the Lions offense–and like his brief cup-of-coffee stay in New Orleans–will be more of a complimentary piece, thanks to future Hall of Fame QB in Matthew Stafford.
If Peterson can match his recent production that he had down in Washington in rushing for 898 yards and five touchdowns, then the Lions got themselves a real steal in a man who is still playing at an elite level, at a position that traditionally chews up players near and over the age of 30.
Currently at fifth all-time at 14,216 yards rushing, Peterson needs 1,053 to surpass franchise icon and Hall of Famer, Barry Sanders.