Adrian Peterson started for the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. It was a nod of respect to the veteran as he faced his former team, the Minnesota Vikings. He carried on the first play and gained 9 yards.
And that’s pretty much it for positive vibes from Peterson’s Saints debut.
Peterson played five snaps in the first half. At tailback the Saints mostly used Mark Ingram, which was expected, and rookie Alvin Kamara, which was not. Peterson had four carries for 14 yards at halftime. He finished with 18 yards on six carries in a 29-19 loss.
Peterson is a future Hall of Famer and not used to taking a backseat to anyone. He probably had visions of carrying the load against his former team and having a big game. Instead he was on the bench, and had the chance to yell at Saints coach Sean Payton. Payton is not the kind of coach who isn’t going to yell back, and it led to a heated exchange.
So Peterson’s Saints career is starting off well.
Adrian Peterson says no conflict, no issue with #Saints coach Sean Payton. "I could've said I love you!"
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 12, 2017
Peterson chimed in on Twitter late Monday night.
Let's be clear…I said we need to run the ball up their Donkey. Nothing more. I'm passionate but respect my coach at the same time
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) September 12, 2017
This was always a tough situation to figure out. Peterson wasn’t going to walk into New Orleans and be handed full-time carries. But he’s a former MVP and has never been a role player, going all the way back to his incredible freshman season at Oklahoma. He’s a competitive guy and especially in a game against a Vikings team that he spent his first 10 NFL seasons with. It’s not too surprising he was upset as he sat on the bench and watched the Saints offense struggle.
Peterson’s rough start as a Saint doesn’t mean the entire experiment won’t work. But it wasn’t the best start.
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