- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 5, 2019

ASHBURN — When Adrian Peterson was with Minnesota Vikings, when he was regarded as the best running back in the NFL, he knew he couldn’t take it for granted. He said he had an appreciation for “the grind” as he saw the running backs rotate in and out of the building every year.

That’s why, even with a reduced role, Peterson says he can appreciate he’s still being in the league after 13 seasons.

The Redskins will turn to Derrius Guice to be their primary running back Sunday when Washington opens the season in Philadelphia. Coach Jay Gruden said earlier this week that the offense with “go through” their 2018 second-rounder, and on Thursday, even left open the possibility for Peterson to be inactive in Week 1.

Speaking to reporters, Peterson said he understands the situation.

“I knew when I came in, this scenario, (Guice) was down,” Peterson said, referencing the running back’s ACL tear last season. “I came in and was able to fill the void for a good period of time and they drafted this kid in the second round and so, of course, they want to give him a shot.

“He’s been working real hard to come back to get on the field. So at the end of the day, I’m pleased do what they ask me to do. That’s all I can do.”

Peterson, who rushed for 1,042 yards in 2018, could possibly be inactive because he doesn’t contribute on special teams. Teams are only allowed to have 46 players active on gamedays, and most teams typically make three running backs active. The Redskins added running back Wendell Smallwood on Monday because of his ability to play special teams.

Gruden said the team will make a determination on Peterson’s status before kickoff.

“The issue is you’ve got one ball and if you’re going to hand the ball off 25 times a game, only so many carries can go around,” Gruden said. “You still have Chris Thompson up and Adrian. So, the big thing is we get somebody ready for the mother load and everybody else is ready for whatever else they can get. That can change next week, it can change the week after, but initially we have to have a plan and go with it.”

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