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Vikings Legend Adrian Peterson Gets Another Shot, Signs With the Titans

Inside The Vikings on FanNation logo Inside The Vikings on FanNation 11/1/2021 Will Ragatz
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Peterson will help fill the void created by Derrick Henry's injury and will have a chance to chase a ring.

Adrian Peterson continues to defy the norms of the running back position.

14 years after he was drafted by the Vikings and embarked on a Hall of Fame career as one of the best running backs to ever play, the 36-year old Peterson is getting another opportunity with his sixth NFL team. In the wake of Derrick Henry's foot injury — which is expected to sideline the league's top RB for 6-10 weeks — the Tennessee Titans are signing Peterson. It's a practice squad deal for now, but he'll be added to the active roster and will presumably serve as the Titans' lead back on early downs.

Peterson just keeps going. It's been five years since his last season in Minnesota, an injury-riddled 2016 campaign in which he only played in three games. At that point, after an incredible ten-year career that had already placed him in the top 20 all-time in rushing yards, most people would've likely hung up the cleats. 

But as all Vikings fans know, Peterson isn't most people. This is the guy who returned from an ACL injury in just over eight months and won the MVP with a 2,000-yard season. Peterson used to talk all the time — and probably still does — about playing until he's 40 and breaking every record in the books.

After leaving Minnesota, Peterson had stints with the Saints and Cardinals in 2017 before finding a new home in Washington, where he ran for 1,000 yards in 2018 at age 33 and nearly 900 yards the following year. He spent last season with the Lions and still managed to put up 600 yards and seven touchdowns.

No team signed him this offseason, but Peterson didn't retire. He stayed ready and waited for a call, and with the Titans losing Henry for most of the remainder of the regular season, that time has arrived.

Peterson isn't just coming to Tennessee for depth purposes; he's going to get a real opportunity to play a lot of snaps. The Titans also recently lost Darrynton Evans to a season-ending injury, so their only running back on the active roster is Jeremy McNichols, a smaller third-down type of back. 

It's as good of a fit as there could be for Peterson, as he's joining a 5-2 team with a lot of offensive talent. The Titans are used to running the ball a ton with Henry, and while the 36-year-old Peterson obviously isn't anywhere near that level, he can still simulate Henry's physical, downhill running style.

This gives Peterson a real chance to move up on some impressive leaderboards. He's 450 rushing yards away from passing Barry Sanders for fourth all-time, with only Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, and Frank Gore ahead of those two. He's six rushing touchdowns away from passing Marcus Allen for third all-time in that department, behind only Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson. With three rushing or receiving touchdowns, Peterson would move into the top 10 in that category, passing Payton and Jim Brown.

To put Peterson's longevity in perspective, he's the only non-special teams player from the 2007 draft still in the league. To do that as a running back is unheard of in the modern NFL.

Peterson is one of the greatest players to ever put on a Vikings uniform. The injury to Henry is awful and unfortunate, but I'm excited to watch Peterson get another chance this year to play for a contending team and go after that elusive Super Bowl ring.

All Day is back.

Thanks for reading. Make sure to bookmark this site and check back daily for the latest Vikings news and analysis all season long. Also, follow me on Twitter and feel free to ask me any questions on there.

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