Adrian Peterson has consistently said he wants to push the boundaries for his position and play into the next decade. At the conclusion of his 13th season, the 34-year-old running back set a loftier goal.
“I can see myself playing to 40,” Peterson said, via NFL.com’s Jane Slater (Twitter link). “People look at that and say, ‘oh my god; that’s crazy.’ But they’ve been doing that for the past two years and surprise, surprise I’m still able to do it at a high level.”
A three-time rushing champion and four-time first-team All-Pro, Peterson has found a home with the Redskins after a lengthy stay in free agency. The future Hall of Famer has rushed for 1,862 yards and 12 touchdowns in two Washington seasons, averaging north of 4.0 yards per carry in each. Peterson is sitting on 842 yards this year, one when the Redskins again saw top running back Derrius Guice battle injuries.
The Redskins signed Peterson to a two-year, $5.03MM deal in March. Guice’s issues may well prompt Washington to bring Peterson back for 2020.
Playing even into his late 30s will be a lofty goal. Thirty-seven has been the ceiling for true tailbacks, with Marcus Allen being the most recent to get there. Allen, though, saw his role minimized in his final Raiders seasons and was part of a committee with the Chiefs. He logged 3,022 carries in 16 seasons; Peterson is at 3,023 in Year 13. Frank Gore could well play into his age-37 season, however; he’s at 3,542 totes.
Peterson sits fifth on the league’s all-time rushing list — two spots behind Gore. He needs over 1,000 more yards to move past Barry Sanders for fourth. While getting to 40 seems highly unrealistic, Peterson looks to exit this season in better shape than he did in 2016 or ’17. A knee injury slowed him during his final Minnesota slate, and he spent 2017 in New Orleans and Arizona, finishing that season on IR before a five-month free agency stay. Peterson, however, has missed just one game in two Washington seasons.
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