In what might have been Adrian Peterson’s farewell game in Minnesota, he received a touching tribute.
With the clock winding down in the Vikings’ 19-9 win over Washington on Thursday night at U.S. Bank Stadium, the jumbotron showed the running back on the Redskins sideline. The fans cheered mightily and Peterson blew a kiss to them.
“It was special,’’ said Peterson, who starred for the Vikings from 2007-16. “It was a kind of, obviously, bittersweet because you come here to win a game. But just coming back and seeing the love that they still have for me and they showed it, man, it felt good. It was definitely a great home welcome. They welcomed me with open arms.’’
After the Vikings declined to re-sign him as a free agent in March 2017, Peterson returned for the 2017 opener with the New Orleans Saints. But he wasn’t a focal part of the offense, and he had just six carries for 18 yards.
On Thursday, Peterson showed that at 34, he still has something left. He carried 14 times for 76 yards and caught two passes for 27 yards.
“There were a couple times throughout the game where I kind of caught myself signing the Skol song or whistling it,’’ Peterson said. “I catch myself because it’s a natural instinct. But obviously that didn’t have anything to do with the outcome of the game. But just, I was here for a decade, and so some things just kind of triggered.’’
Peterson was asked if there will come a day when he returns to Minnesota for games after he has retired.
“I haven’t thought about it yet because I plan on playing, God willing, at least three to four more years, so I have a little time to think about that,’’ he said. “So, you know, it will be cool whenever that times comes around.’’