To most people, New Orleans is a prime destination: fabulous food, great weather, and the debauchery of Bourbon Street.
On Tuesday, the Saints traded Peterson, who was being used as the team’s third-string running back, to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a 2018 sixth-round draft pick. With Arizona, he should get far more touches, as the team has been looking for a featured back since losing David Johnson to injury in Week 1.
On Wednesday, after his first practice with his new team, Peterson talked to reporters about his reaction to the trade, which he found out about via a text from a friend: “911,” it read. “You got traded to Arizona.”
“Thank you, Jesus,” was Peterson’s reaction. “You answer prayers. I’d be lying to say I didn’t want a change of scenery.”
Peterson said he stayed up until 3 o’clock in the morning before his first practice, looking at plays and trying to memorize terminology.
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Johnson dislocated his wrist against the Lions in the season opener; via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, the third-year player said on Wednesday that his rehab is “going great,” and that he just got the cast on his wrist.
While Johnson said there was no timetable for his return, Arizona coach Bruce Arians said the earliest Johnson is expected to return is Thanksgiving; the Cardinals host the Jaguars on Nov. 26, three days after Thanksgiving.
Peterson is 32, as is Chris Johnson, who was Arizona’s leading back before being cut by the team shortly after the Peterson signing. Johnson was averaging just 2.5 yards per carry, and the Cardinals are last in the NFL in rushing yards per game, at just 51.8.
Peterson got just 27 carries (for 81 yards) in five games with New Orleans, but says he has a lot left to offer Arizona.
“I have so much left,” Peterson said. “I look to play at least four to five more years, God willing. I have a lot left in the tank. Stay tuned and you guys will be able to see that first-hand.”
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Peterson is “a violent runner who still has it. He’s not 22 anymore, but he still pours it up in there and is very exciting.”
For the time being, Peterson will be staying with his friend, Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald offered Peterson use of his guest house.
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