Adrian Peterson Has Entered the Chat

Adrian Peterson
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The Tennessee Titans survived a wild contest against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8, but it may have come at a hefty price.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the following on Monday:

And the Titans — a team with a rather talented depth chart — won’t roll over and die sans Henry. Fantasy football participants might but not the Titans franchise.

At the end of Week 8, the Titans are the AFC’s top-seed, nudging up to the #1 spot after the Cincinnati Bengals inexpiably lost to the New York Jets on Sunday.

So, head coach Mike Vrabel’s team will need some semblance of an RB1 to continue doing offensive business in the fashion it’s grown accustomed to.

And according to Josina Anderson, former Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is on the docket for an audition:

The hubbub on Peterson in 2021 has been strangely quiet. He did not retire, nor has the future Hall of Famer received any notable attention from RB-needy teams.

Until now.

When the Baltimore Ravens (who the Vikings play in six days) encountered a flurry of running back injuries, Peterson was oddly not mentioned in the mix as a suitor. It led the masses to believe perhaps Peterson’s career was over. Yet, the Titans news from Anderson pumps the brakes on that theory. To date in 2021, Peterson has existed in the same realm as Larry Fitzgerald — a purgatory where neither Hall of Fame-bound man retired but is not garnering attention via in-season free agency.

After Henry on Tennessee’s depth chart — the man gets so many touches that other halfbacks are an afterthought — the names are virtually anonymous. Jeremy McNichols and Dontrell Hilliard are the reservist players. Have you ever heard of those men?

Well, you have heard of Peterson, and he might just get a swan-song crack at the postseason in Tennessee if Titans management is on board.

Peterson ranks fifth on the NFL’s all-time rushing yards pecking order, needing about a half season’s worth of work to knock Hall of Famer Barry Sanders out of the #4 position. What’s more, Peterson is fourth all-time in rushing touchdowns, six scores away from supplanting Marcus Allen from his #3 spot.

The Titans likely wouldn’t consider Peterson the savior for their 2021 campaign. Still, the team would interpret the former Viking as a workhorse that can offer more carries than almost any other 36-year-old on the planet.

Tennessee currently runs the ball 47.3% of the time on offense, the fourth-most in the NFL through eight weeks behind the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, and Cleveland Browns. Someone — even if it’s not Peterson — will be expected to fill the RB1 role more so than most NFL teams in Henry’s absence.

The Titans have 14/1 odds to win Super Bowl 56.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).