With Chris Carson already done for the season and Rashaad Penny likely to join him on injured reserve in the near future, the running back-needy Seahawks are bringing a future Hall of Famer into the fold.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, coach Pete Carroll confirmed veteran running back Adrian Peterson had officially signed to Seattle's practice squad. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported earlier in the day that the four-time First-Team All-Pro selection flew out to visit the team.
"He's a player I've known forever back to his high school days and admired him tremendously over the years, always disappointed we didn't get him back in the day [at USC]," Carroll smiled. "But like I just told him, we finally got him, so I'm looking forward to seeing how he does and seeing where he can fit in. He's an incredible competitor and a great guy and so I'm anxious to give him a chance to get on the field with our boys."
Peterson, 36, recently played in three games for the Titans as a replacement for injured star Derrick Henry, rushing 27 times for 82 yards and a touchdown. Averaging just 3.0 yards per carry, the team waived him on November 23, choosing to move forward with Jeremy McNichols, D'Onta Foreman, and Dontrell Hilliard instead.
One of the best backs to ever don an NFL uniform, Peterson became an immediate superstar for the Vikings, rushing for 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns as a rookie in 2007. In 10 seasons in Minnesota, he amassed over 11,000 rushing yards and scored 97 touchdowns on the ground, earning MVP honors in 2012 after rushing for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns. Remarkably, he accomplished the feat coming off a torn ACL.
Since leaving the Vikings after the 2016 season, Peterson has spent time with the Cardinals, Saints, Washington Football Team, and Lions over the past five seasons. His best year during that span came in 2018 when he eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the eighth time in his illustrious career. Last season, he rushed for 604 yards and seven touchdowns for Detroit, producing effectively in a reserve role.
Sitting in last place in the NFC West sporting a 3-8 record, the Seahawks decision to sign Peterson is a bit perplexing on the surface. While injuries to Carson and Penny have left the team short-handed in the backfield, signing an aging back well beyond his prime doesn't seem like the ideal path forward when he would be taking playing time away from young players such as DeeJay Dallas and undrafted rookie Josh Johnson.
It's also worth noting Peterson, who never has been known for his receiving or pass blocking skills, doesn't offer much value as a third down back option either.
With that said, Peterson remains an effective runner between the tackles and still plays a physical brand of football. Even at his advancing age, Carroll hopes "All Day" has enough left in the tank at the tail end of his career to be able to provide Seattle's run game with a bit of the punch lost without Carson in the lineup over the final six weeks.
"We're trying to get ready to win this football game, so I'm gonna see if Adrian's got something to offer us. Just in his presence and his toughness, he brings something. Let's see what happens."