One of the NFL's all-time leading rushers is coming back to Washington.
A year after becoming the NFL's oldest 1,000-yard rusher in more than 30 years, running back Adrian Peterson has re-signed with the Redskins, the team announced Monday.
The Redskins signed Peterson, 33, to a one-year deal in August to address their need at running back after rookie Derrius Guice suffered a season-ending ACL injury. Peterson immediately became the team's workhorse, carrying the ball 26 times in a season-opening win over the Arizona Cardinals and 251 times over 16 games, his heaviest workload since the 2015 season. No other Redskins player had more than 43 rushing attempts.
Peterson proved to be as productive as he was durable in his 12th NFL season out of Oklahoma. He finished as the league's eighth-highest rusher with 1,042 yards, good for a 4.2 average, and recorded eight total touchdowns (seven rushing and one receiving). He also rushed for at least 95 yards rushing on seven occasions, including a 26-carry, 149-yard, two-touchdown performance to carry the Redskins offensively in their win over the New York Giants in Week 8.
Furthermore, Peterson became the oldest player to surpass 1,000 rushing yards in a season since Redskins' great John Riggins accomplished the feat in 1984.
“Yeah hopefully I’m back here, God willing," Peterson said after last season. "I want to be a part of what we could be as a team and as an organization. I definitely want to be a part of it. So, that’s what I’m going to continue to keep my mind on. My work speaks for itself, that’s the only thing that I can control. That’s something that I’m focused on, making myself better, so when I step back in here I'm even better than I was this year.”
Re-signing Peterson gives the Redskins a proven workhorse to go along with Guice, who has garnered excitement but lacks experience, and pass-catching threat Chris Thompson -- forming a versatile backfield combination that was merely a possibility before Monday.
"That wouldn't be a bad thing to have," head coach Jay Gruden said when asked about the three running backs after last season. "You still have Bryon Marshall, too, and Samaje Perine, so I think the stable of backs are very interesting here once everybody is healthy. I would love to see Adrian come back healthy. He was banged up the whole second half of the season and he played through it and still played pretty good. That is something that we'll have to talk about."
A first-round draft pick to Minnesota in 2007, Peterson has made seven Pro Bowl appearances, been a first-team All-Pro four times and secured NFL MVP honors with the Vikings in 2012. He's currently eighth on the NFL's all-time rushing list with 13,318 career yards, and there's a chance he'll pass New York Jets standout Curtis Martin (14,101) to crack the top 5.
Peterson is second on the list among active players, trailing only Frank Gore (14,748).
"Having a vet like AP in the room with the RBs is historic -- pretty sure we all looked up to AP growing up," Guice said in a recent statement. "With me coming back and the other RB's we have, and then AP, scary!"