mcloudy.png
Wednesday June 23rd, 2021 2:42PM

Washington releases Adrian Peterson, turns to young backs

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Washington released veteran running back Adrian Peterson on Friday, a stunning move by first-year coach Ron Rivera in the name of getting younger.

Rivera called Peterson early in the morning asking him to come to the practice facility, then delivered the news the team was moving on from the 35-year-old star. The move came less than 36 hours before NFL rosters must be trimmed to the 53-man limit and nine days before the start of the regular season.

“It’s not about what he hasn’t done or anything like that, but it’s about what this group of backs has shown us, especially in the way that the offense has headed,” Rivera said. “Adrian is a true pro. I was fortunate to just be with him this summer.”

Peterson played the past two seasons with Washington, rushing for 1,940 yards and 12 touchdowns in the fourth stop of a career that will likely earn him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He originally signed in the summer of 2018 after rookie Derrius Guice was lost for the season with a knee injury, and kept his starting job in 2019.

Now, after Guice's release following a domestic violence arrest, he, Peterson and longtime third-down back Chris Thompson are all gone, and the backfield has a decidedly young look. Replacing them will be a committee approach between rookies Antonio Gibson and Bryce Love and free agent additions Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic.

“We’re about to find out what our young players can do more so than anything else,” Rivera said. “One of the things we have to find out is where we are with those guys. This is also what this allows us to do, is play these young players and put them in a position where they’ll be on the field.”

Love is finally healthy after a knee injury ended his college career in December 2018. Gibson excited Washington by playing a hybrid running back/receiver role at Memphis, and Rivera compared his potential to Carolina's Christian McCaffrey.

Offensive coordinator Scott Turner said Gibson has done a good job in training camp but was vague about his role Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“This is a very talented, gifted young man that did a lot of different things,” Rivera said Thursday. "We’re trying to hone his skills to fit what we believe he can do. It’s been an interesting growth period. It’s been good.”

Peterson is now thrown into limbo after being blindsided by his release. He's 1,053 yards behind Barry Sanders for fourth on the all-time rushing list and needs 12 TDs to catch Marcus Allen for the third most in NFL history.

“I still want to play the game,” Peterson said in a radio appearance on Washington's 106.7 FM. “That’s something I’ve said for the past couple of years now, and I felt like I had a great camp.”

Rivera told his players of the decision to release Peterson and made it clear it was no accident this happened before cut day. He wanted to give Peterson his own day as a sign of respect.

Quarterback Dwayne Haskins tweeted that he was a huge fan of Peterson growing up and wished him the best of luck.

“Having the opportunity to be his teammate and learn from him has been an experience I’ll never forget,” Haskins said. “Thank you for always having my back, big bro! I’m going to make you proud.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Police use of spit hoods scrutinized after Black man's death
The suffocation of a Black man after police slipped a “spit hood” over his head has drawn new attention to the tactic and the frequent reliance on police to respond to mental health emergencies
12:24PM ( 7 minutes ago )
1-eyed Finnick the Fierce scratched from Kentucky Derby
The field for the Kentucky Derby has been reduced to 16 after Finnick the Fierce was scratched
12:10PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Washington releases Adrian Peterson, turns to young backs
Washington has released veteran running back Adrian Peterson
12:08PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Osaka, Djokovic on Day 5 schedule at US Open
Play is underway in third-round matches on Day 5 at the U.S. Open
11:22AM ( 1 hour ago )
Camp injuries, virus protocols had some NFL teams scrambling
Hamstring pulls, core muscle injuries and banged-up knees are all common maladies among football players and they all affected NFL teams’ rosters in training camp this summer
11:12AM ( 1 hour ago )
Messi's father tells Spanish league his son is free to leave
Lionel Messi’s father has sent a letter to the Spanish league saying his son is free to leave Barcelona immediately without having to pay the $837 million buyout clause
10:30AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
AP source: Cam Newton to be Patriots starting quarterback
Cam Newton is officially the new starting quarterback of the New England Patriots
6:43PM ( 17 hours ago )
Heat have Bucks in serious trouble going into Game 3
Having the NBA’s best record during the regular season shows the obvious potential of the Milwaukee Bucks
5:57PM ( 18 hours ago )
Stars line up for a chance to play with Brady-led Buccaneers
Signing Tom Brady was just a start for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who continue to assemble a star-studded cast around the six-time Super Bowl champion
4:00PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Cousins: No virus worry, wants to 'respect' others' concerns
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins says he’s unconcerned about catching the coronavirus
9:01PM ( 1 day ago )
NFL, TV partners navigating pandemic and future rights deals
In a year in which few things are normal, there will be some familiar things about NFL broadcasts this season
8:25PM ( 1 day ago )
Georgia QB Newman opting out of season to prepare for draft
Jamie Newman, the Wake Forest transfer who was the projected starting quarterback for No. 4 Georgia, is opting out of the season to prepare for the 2021 NFL draft
7:21PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Police use of spit hoods scrutinized after Black man's death
The suffocation of a Black man after police slipped a “spit hood” over his head has drawn new attention to the tactic and the frequent reliance on police to respond to mental health emergencies
12:24PM ( 7 minutes ago )
1-eyed Finnick the Fierce scratched from Kentucky Derby
The field for the Kentucky Derby has been reduced to 16 after Finnick the Fierce was scratched
12:10PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Serbia, Kosovo normalize economic ties, gesture to Israel
Serbia and Kosovo announced Friday at the White House that they have normalized economic ties
12:07PM ( 24 minutes ago )
IAEA: Iran continues to expand stockpile of enriched uranium
The U.N.’s atomic watchdog agency says Iran continues to increase its stockpile of enriched uranium, in violation of limitations set in the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers
12:01PM ( 31 minutes ago )
NATO agrees nerve agent used to try to kill Russia's Navalny
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has condemned the “appalling assassination attempt” on Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny and said Moscow must answer “serious questions” from international investigators
11:59AM ( 33 minutes ago )