Seahawks sign 36-year-old Adrian Peterson while finishing a lost season. Here’s why:

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This lost Seahawks season just got some added intrigue.

How much, and to what end? No one is sure.

The 3-8 Seahawks signed 36-year-old Adrian Peterson, the former NFL MVP and four-time All-Pro running back, to their practice squad Wednesday. Coach Pete Carroll confirmed the signing on a video call with reporters.

“I just saw him. He’s in. Excited to see if he can help us out, and give us a little something,” Carroll said.

Carroll has been trying to get Peterson on his team for almost 20 years, back to when he was USC’s head coach and Peterson was a three-sport phenom at Palestine High School in Texas.

With Chris Carson having season-ending neck surgery plus fellow running backs Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer injured and perhaps unlikely to play Sunday when Seattle hosts San Francisco (6-5) and Alex Collins banged up, Carroll felt the time was right to see what Peterson may have left.

He played three games this month for Tennessee, who needed a runner after Derrick Henry got hurt.

The Titans released him Nov. 23, after he gained 82 yards with a touchdown in three games for them.

“He’s a player that I’ve known forever, way back to his high school days. Admired him tremendously over the years,” Carroll said. “Always disappointed we didn’t get him back in the day (to USC), but like I told him, we finally got him.

“So, I’m excited to see how he does, how he can fit in. He’s an incredible competitor and really a great guy. So I’m anxious to give him a chance to get on the field with our boys.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) is tacked by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) is tacked by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) during the first half of an NFL wild-card football game, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

“He plays just as tough and aggressive as he ever has,” Carroll said. “So I’m anxious to see what he adds to the club.

“He’s fired up about it, too.”

The Seahawks signed Peterson to the practice squad as an incremental step, to see how ready he may be to play Sunday against the 49ers at Lumen Field without having to add him to the 53-man active roster immediately.

The NFL loosened practice-squad rules in recent years, allowing veterans of any experience to go on them then be promoted to the roster for games. Previously, only players with relatively little experience were eligible for practice squads.

The addition of Peterson to a 3-8 team that is transitioning to playing out the string of six games to end the lost season is curious, to say the least.

Carroll was asked how the seven-time Pro Bowl runner fits into Seattle trying to see what it has for 2022 and beyond with, says, undrafted rookie running back Josh Johnson not yet getting a chance to show what he can do for the offense.

“We’re trying to get ready to win this football game,” Sunday, Carroll said. “So we are going to see if Adrian’s got something to offer us. Just in his presence and his toughness, he brings something. So let’s see what happens. We are just trying to get the right mix. You know, Rashaad’s been in and out, been concerned about him getting back and staying back. Homer has been banged up, and we aren’t sure about him this week, either.

“So it just looks like there are opportunities, you know. So we’ll see how it goes, see how the guys respond.

“Really, I’m just as excited as, probably, you guys are to see what he looks like playing in our uniform and doing something for us. We’ll see how it goes.”

Seattle also signed wide receiver Cade Johnson and safety Elijah Benton to the practice squad Wednesday.