The season-ending injury to Redskins’ second-round draft pick Derrius Guice was initially viewed to be a devastating blow to the team’s offense, but veteran running back Adrian Peterson has done a great job picking up the slack.
Peterson has carried the ball 77 times for 339 yards (four touchdowns) so far this season, and has racked up an additional 136 receiving yards as well. The Redskins took a chance on signing Peterson, which proved to be an excellent move, being that the team didn’t even have to give up anything in return, whereas a trade could’ve potentially cost them a draft pick or two.
The 33-year-old running back hasn’t shown signs of slowing down anytime soon, either, as he averaged an impressive 5.7 yards per carry in Sunday’s win over the Panthers. The (3-2) Redskins currently sit atop the NFC East standings, and Peterson’s success on the ground has helped contribute to the team’s impressive start to its 2018 campaign. Head coach Jay Gruden was asked about what Peterson has done for the offense this season on Thursday, and he heaped praise on the veteran running back.
“We didn’t expect a whole lot because we didn’t have him on our team until not too long ago,” Gruden said during Thursday’s press conference. “But I think when you get a Hall of Fame type guy like that, you’re not sure what to expect. You’re not sure what type of attitude he’s going to have. Is he going to be, ‘I’m [a] better than everybody type guy?’ But he’s not. He’s a great guy. He works hard; but the thing I’m most impressed with is how he’s played with the pain and fought through it. I told him, ‘I had a lot for respect for you before we got you, but now it’s off the charts,’ as far as how much we respect him as a player and as a person for what he’s going through right now. It’s just a great tribute to him as far as his work ethic and dedication to the game.”
Peterson’s strong contributions on the field have surprised many so far this season, and it appears that even Gruden himself has been impressed by what the veteran running back has done for the team through five games of play. It will be interesting to see if Peterson can keep up pace as the season progresses.