SNIDER: Adrian Peterson takes the lead

Rick Snider
September 05, 2018 - 3:39 pm
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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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Redskins running back Adrian Peterson was alone at the end of a line of players during stretching on Wednesday. While most teammates were chattering, trying to make a mundane task pass more quickly, Peterson stared straight ahead with robotic efficiency.

Peterson isn't in Washington to make friends. Chances are he won't be here past this season. The 12-year veteran is passing through, hoping for one more good season to boost his already sure-fire Pro Football Hall of Fame credentials and move up some career rankings.

Not that Peterson is going unnoticed. Indeed, all eyes seemed on Peterson when arriving on Aug. 21. There isn't another player on the roster likely headed for Canton following retirement aside Peterson and young teammates, many of whom grew up watching him or choosing his character on Madden, watching intently. Peterson, for his part, always acts the pro with unbridled confidence.

When stretching is done, Peterson is quickly seen grabbing handoffs, crisply running his route. This is how a pro does it – with full focus as Washington readies for its season opener at Arizona on Sunday.

There are two questions surrounding Peterson – can he carry the Redskins, and for how long?

Peterson is asked to be a cornerstone long after a running back's expiration date. He's 33 years old in a league where 25 means retirement for most runners. He averaged 3.4 yards for two teams last season, after only playing three games in 2016.

Peterson's 12,276 yards and 99 touchdowns rank him among the immortals. But that was elsewhere. What can he do for Washington is all that matters. And, this is Peterson's last year unless he proves he has something left. And, Peterson certainly intends to prove he does.

So let Peterson stare into the distance. Let him imagine future glory and redemption. It's the only path that takes Washington to the playoffs come January.

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Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks​