Report: Redskins veterans unhappy with team scratching Adrian Peterson
By Ian Cummings
File this under “things I didn’t expect to be problematic”.
Every week, in the NFL regular season, teams carry 53-man rosters, but they can only field 46 active players for each contest. Thus, seven players on the final roster must be deemed inactive each week. Some lingering injuries make the decisions easy, but the final spots end up being reserved for special teams contributors. Some of the Washington Redskins inactive designations were released ahead of the Eagles game, and they’re causing a bit of a stir.
Among other more predictable designations, such as the inactive designations of cornerback Fabian Moreau, tight end Jordan Reed, and quarterback Colt McCoy, the Redskins rendered veteran running back Adrian Peterson a healthy scratch for the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Eagles. The decision came down to special teams utility and offensive line depth, which Peterson lacks as a workhorse-style back.
The decision makes sense, but according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, some Redskins veterans aren’t happy with the decision to bench the player who helped make an inept 2018 offense slightly less pitiful by reaching 1,000 rushing yards. Peterson did so in spite of a constantly rotating offensive line, and for that, he deserves recognition. But reports suggest players see the healthy scratch as a sign of disrespect.
It was first suggested that Peterson would have a limited role when the team anointed Derrius Guice as the starting running back. At the time, Peterson accepted his new role as backup, saying that he had an appreciation for the role after seeing other players take it on over the course of his career. In the words of Peterson, per the Richmond Times’ Michael Phillips, “I’m paid to do what they ask me to do”.
At that time, however, Peterson likely thought he’d be asked to back up Guice. Instead, he won’t dress for the Eagles game. At his age, Peterson doesn’t offer much from an efficiency standpoint, and he’s never been a special teamer. But these decisions, while sensible, can have consequences in the locker room. And Peterson may not be paid as much, due to incentives in his contract. It appears as though frustrations have arisen from this choice. As for whether or not it will have an effect on the game, however, that remains to be seen.