Adrian Peterson wants to return to Redskins in 2019
ASHBURN Adrian Peterson was always confident he could still play in the NFL as an older running back. From the day he signed with the Redskins in August, the 33-year-old vowed he wouldn’t allow himself to be “boxed in” by other people’s perceptions.
Now, heading into Sunday’s finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, Peterson has 1,042 yards on 247 carries and seven touchdowns. He’s also set to play in all 16 games, something he hasn’t done since 2015.
Peterson has performed at a high enough level in 2018 that his return to Washington next season doesn’t seem out of the question.
And on Thursday, Peterson noted his desire to stay with Washington once his contract expiresafter the season.
“Yeah, I would definitely love to come back here and finish off on a better note,” Peterson said. “I feel like we have a great group of guys here, all the adversity we faced here and how guys continued to come to work and really stay focused. It shows a lot about this team, this locker room, the coaches surrounding us as well, so that’s something I would love to be a part of.”
Coach Jay Gruden said Peterson has been “everything as advertised.” But he added any talk of Peterson returning is premature, given the team is focused on the Eagles.
If Peterson is with the Redskins in 2019, he’ll have to co-exist with Derrius Guice, the team’s second-round draft pick who is coming off a torn ACL. Guice’s injury, as well as other other injuries at the position, led to Peterson signing with Washington in mid-August on a one-year, $1.02 million deal.
Peterson said he’s met Guice and believes the two can work well together since teams need multiple backs.
“I like him a lot,” Peterson said. “Nice personality. I haven’t been able to see him work and his work ethic and how he handles his business. we talked about getting him down to Houston so hopefully, he gets down and I’m able to see what he’s all about when it comes to putting in work.”
Peterson’s own work ethic has impressed the Redskins this season. Gruden said he wasn’t surprised by the veteran’s durability, but noted, “It doesn’t happen very often for a back his age to do what he’s done.”
This season, Peterson has broken various milestones moving up the all-time list in rushing yards and touchdowns. Peterson has surpassed some of his idols Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders and Jim Brown along the way.
He also fought through multiple injuries earlier in the year and kept playing. Last week against the Tennesee Titans, Peterson became the oldest running back since 1984 to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season.
It wouldn’t be unprecedented for Peterson to keep playing, either. Miami’s Frank Gore and Philadelphia’s Darren Sproles are the only two running backs older than Peterson in the NFL but both are 35 years old.
“I feel like if you watch football or know anything about football, you know that I’ve still got a lot left,” Peterson said. “If you can’t see that, you’re blind.”