Adrian Peterson’s debut with the New Orleans Saints did not go well. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection had just six carries for 18 yards in a 29-18 loss to the team Peterson spent the previous 10 seasons with, the Minnesota Vikings. Peterson even had fewer carries in the game than Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara (7 carries, 18 yards).
Peterson was clearly frustrated, and we could all see it for ourselves as ESPN’s Monday Night Football cameras caught the running back seemingly unhappy with New Orleans head coach Sean Payton on the sidelines.
On Thursday, Peterson told the media that he “didn’t sign up for nine snaps” when he signed a contract with the Saints over the offseason:
“I didn’t sign up for nine snaps, though,” Peterson told reporters Thursday. “But unfortunately that’s the way the game played out. In my mind, personally, I knew it was gonna take some adjusting. You know, me and Mark (Ingram) played in the last preseason game, and AK (rookie running back Alvin Kamara) didn’t even play that game. So with all three of us being out there, I knew it would take a game or so to kind of get adjusted.”
Peterson did add that the moment on the sidelines with Payton was “overdramatized”:
“It was definitely overdramatized,” Peterson said. “Of course, with the heat of the game, me being back in Minnesota and things like that, just catching that look – that intense look on my face, like I had – I actually got some laughs out of some of the memes that were made.”
The 32-year-old seems to understand the situation, but as he said, he didn’t sign up for nine snaps either. The Saints’ offense has been very pass-heavy in the Drew Brees era and it will be interesting to follow Peterson’s usage throughout the season.
In Week 2, the Saints host a New England Patriots team that just allowed the Kansas City Chiefs to run for 185 yards on 25 carries. If Peterson isn’t featured heavily in that game, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll be featured heavily at all this year.