Adrian Peterson had more snaps, rushes and yards than the rest of the Detroit Lions’ running backs combined Sunday. And based on what his offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, stated Tuesday, it looks as though the 35-year-old future Hall of Famer might end up being the lead back for the club for the immediate future as well.
Peterson played 40 snaps in the Lions’ 26-23 victory versus Arizona on Sunday, getting 22 carries for 75 yards along with one catch for 10 yards. That followed two weeks of a committee approach among Peterson, Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift.
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Those situations come with Peterson atop the depth chart.
Detroit signed Peterson after he was released by Washington on Sept. 4. He said he had the chance to go to a couple of teams, but he selected the Lions because of an opportunity to play again with Bevell, who was his offensive coordinator at the start of his career in Minnesota.
So far, Peterson has averaged 4.9 yards per carry (43 attempts, 209 yards). Johnson has averaged 3.4 yards (18 attempts, 62 yards), while rookie Swift is averaging 2.5 yards (8 attempts, 20 yards).
Bevell did praise Johnson on Sunday, calling him the “player of the game” due to his pass-protection pickup and the nuances that led to Jesse James’ touchdown reception.
But it appears Johnson, who has been Detroit’s lead back when healthy the past two campaigns, might not touch the ball as much as he has in the past.
The question now might be whether the Lions have to manage Peterson’s workload. He has already played in 167 career games and carried the ball 3,079 times for 14,425 rushing yards. Plus, he’s at an age when most running backs are retired or playing a much less significant role.
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