Only four days after signing with the team's practice squad, Adrian Peterson will make his Seahawks debut against the 49ers on Sunday at Lumen Field.
With three running backs listed as questionable to suit up against San Francisco, Seattle elevated the 36-year old Peterson from the practice squad on Saturday. Despite participating in only two practices, coach Pete Carroll was impressed by what he saw in limited time on the field from the 15-year veteran.
"Adrian had a good week," Carroll told reporters on Friday. "It's probably hard for people on the outside to understand the impact a guy with his kind of background can make. At a time where we're battling to try to win a game and get going, he jumped in here and had a remarkable influence on the week. With three guys banged up at the spot, we'll see how it goes on the weekend. He had a really productive week for us, and it was fun having him here."
A four-time First-Team All-Pro selection and former NFL MVP, Peterson provides much-needed depth at running back with the Seahawks dealing with numerous injuries at the position. Starter Chris Carson landed on injured reserve in Week 5 and will undergo neck surgery later this month, while Alex Collins (abdomen), Rashaad Penny (hamstring), and Travis Homer (calf) all missed practice time this week. Currently, DeeJay Dallas is the only healthy back on the 53-man roster.
On Friday, Carroll was non-committal about which other backs would be able to play on Sunday. But after being limited on Friday, Collins may be the one held out after playing through injury in several games recently. Both Homer and Penny were full participants, a good sign they should be available.
Despite his advanced age at a position typically with a short shelf life, Peterson believes he can still provide a spark for Seattle's struggling ground game and also serve as a mentor for the team's younger ball carriers. Earlier this season, he appeared in three games for Tennessee, rushing 27 times for 82 yards and a touchdown before being released on November 23.
"I don’t really feel like I showed too much in Tennessee, but before I got released, I was feeling like my legs were back under me. I felt like going to the Patriots week, that was the week I was going to blossom. Unfortunately, I got released. I feel like there’s a lot I can add to the run game and inspire these young guys as well. Make those guys work harder when they see me out there pretty much going full speed during a walkthrough 14 years in, that’ll make them kind of pick up their tempo a little more as well. I feel like I’ll be able to add to the running back room and help get this running game going.”
With six games left on the schedule, Peterson needs 368 rushing yards to pass Lions legend Barry Sanders to move into fourth-place all-time on the NFL's rushing yards list. Though unlikely to accomplish that with the Seahawks in a reserve role, he will have a chance to add to his historic total as he approaches the finish line of his Hall of Fame career.
Following Sunday's game, Peterson will revert back to Seattle's practice squad and will be eligible for one more game day elevation before the team would have to move him permanently to the 53-man roster to play again.