Adrian Peterson notched over 1,000 yards for Washington last season, but found himself on the bench when the 2019 NFL began. Jay Gruden surprised the football world Sunday by making Peterson a healthy scratch.
Why was the case? It all had to do with special teams, according to Gruden.
Jay Gruden on the Peterson decision: pic.twitter.com/11fe4TwyhG— John Keim (@john_keim) September 8, 2019
Gruden cited playing against Darren Sproles as the reason for making Peterson inactive. Gruden explained the team needed players who could cover Sproles on punts. That’s why Peterson sat.
Peterson said he wasn’t sure how to handle the scratch.
While Gruden made it sound like Peterson’s benching was just a one-game thing, that may not be the case. Gruden indicated Peterson’s playing time could be game-dependent.
"So if we have a game where we think we can run the ball 55 times in a game in an I-formation, then sure, I’ll get him up.”— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) September 8, 2019
In other words, Derrius Guice is the team’s primary starter. Washington will only use Peterson and Guice together if the team believes it can run the ball a ton during a contest. Gruden specifically cited “55 times in a game,” which would be unheard of in today’s era.
That puts the 34-year-old Peterson in a tough spot moving forward. Barring an injury to Guice, Peterson isn’t going to see the field much. If Washington intends to operate the same way moving forward, a trade might be best for both sides.
(Yahoo Sports NFL H/N: NFL.com)
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