Report: Titans signing Adrian Peterson with Derrick Henry sidelined

·2-min read

The Tennessee Titans are signing veteran running back Adrian Peterson, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports. He'll initially join the practice squad with a plan to elevate him to the game-day roster, according to the report. 

The Titans are making the move after Derrick Henry suffered a foot injury on Sunday that requires surgery. He's expected to be sidelined for several weeks if not the rest of the season.

Peterson, 36, last played in 2020 for the Detroit Lions, where he played all 16 regular season games and started in 10. He tallied 604 yards and seven touchdowns on 3.9 yards per carry in addition to catching 12 passes for 101 yards. He didn't re-sign with the Lions after 2020 and has remained a free agent through the first eight weeks of the season.

Adrian Peterson #28 of the Detroit Lions attempts to run the ball against Deshazor Everett #22 of the Washington Football Team during their game at Ford Field on November 15, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Adrian Peterson projects to join a committee approach in Tennessee with the absence of Derrick Henry. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Peterson was arguably football's best running back in his prime with the Minnesota Vikings, where he made the Pro Bowl and was named All-Pro seven times in 10 seasons. He was the NFL MVP in 2012 and led the league in rushing three times.

The Vikings declined to pick up his contract option in 2017, and Peterson has since played for the Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints and Washington Football Team before joining Detroit last season. 

What will Peterson's role be in Tennessee?

Peterson projects to join a committee approach at running back in Henry's absence. Henry handled the vast majority of carries out of the Titans backfield en route to an NFL-best 937 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns through eight games. His primary backup Jeremy McNichols has just seven carries for 38 yards in the same timespan. 

Running backs rarely play at Peterson's age, much less make steady contributions on the field. But Peterson's obviously no ordinary NFL running back and demonstrated last season that he could still effectively carry a regular workload. 

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