Washington signs Adrian Peterson to help injury-depleted running back group

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Washington brought veteran running back Adrian Peterson in for a visit on Monday, and it quickly became an extended stay: via multiple reports, the team is signing the 33-year-old.

Injuries necessitate addition

Washington needed help at running back after Derrius Guice, the team’s second-round draft pick, tore his ACL in the preseason opener against New England last week (Guice underwent surgery on Monday to repair the ligament) and was lost for the season.

Enter Peterson, who split last season between the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals.

The seventh overall pick in 2007, Peterson played in 10 total games last season, with seven starts (six of them with the Cardinals). He gave Arizona 448 yards and two touchdowns, though his yards per carry was a pedestrian 3.5.

New season, new team: running back Adrian Peterson, shown here carrying the ball for the Cardinals, has reportedly signed with Washington. (AP)

Peterson began the season with the Saints, but wasn’t happy with his limited role after the Saints realized their rookie, Alvin Kamara, was a budding star.

How much does Peterson have left?

Washington coach Jay Gruden said the team would be looking to add to the running back group after Guice’s injury. The team’s leading rusher last year, Samaje Perine, is dealing with an ankle injury, and Chris Thompson, who was second in rushing yards, is coming back from a broken leg and didn’t play in the last preseason game.

Peterson led the league in rushing attempts, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns (327, 1,485 and 11, respectively) in 2015, but missed most of the 2016 season to a knee injury.

He did have two 100-yard games with the Cardinals, against the Buccaneers and 49ers, but Peterson’s never been a big pass-catcher, and not being a three-down back will likely hinder him with any offense.

Washington is set to open the regular season against Arizona, so Peterson may be competing against some familiar faces.

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