Looking to bolster their running back depth, the Seahawks are turning to one of the best running backs in NFL history, signing Adrian Peterson to their practice squad on Wednesday.
"I'm excited to see if he helps out and give us a little something," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "He's a player that I know I've known forever, way back to his high school days, and I admired him tremendously over the years. Always disappointed we didn't get him back in the day, but like I just told him, we finally got him. So I'm looking forward to seeing how he does and see where he can fit it. He's an incredible competitor and a great guy, so I'm anxious to give him a chance to get on the field with our boys."
The Seahawks also signed receiver Cade Johnson and safety Elijah Benton to the practice squad Wednesday.
The Seahawks have been without top running back Chris Carson for most of the season, the result of a neck injury that required season-ending surgery, and two other backs, Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer, are dealing with injuries that kept them out of last week's game. Alex Collins, who has handled the starting role since Carson's injury, has been playing through an abdominal injury for multiple weeks. With a short-handed rushing attack, the Seahawks rushed for a season-low 34 yards on 12 carries in Monday's loss to Washington, with two Russell Wilson scrambles accounting for 16 of those yards.
Peterson, 36, is a seven-time Pro-Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro, last accomplishing both in 2015 with Minnesota, where he spent the first 10 seasons of his career. A member of the 2010s NFL All-Decade team, Peterson led the league in rushing in 2008, 2012 and 2015, and earned MVP honors in 2012 when he rushed for 2,097 yards, the second-highest total in NFL history behind Eric Dickerson's 2,105 in 1984. Peterson's 119 rushing touchdowns rank fourth all time.
And while Peterson has been a Pro-Bowler in recent years, he has remained a productive back well into his 30s, rushing for 1,042 yards and seven scores in 2018 with Washington, and rushing for 1,502 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past two seasons with Washington and Detroit. Peterson appeared in three games with Tennessee earlier this season, rushing for 82 yards and one touchdown on 27 carries.
Carroll noted it's too soon to know what Peterson will bring to the team seeing as he has yet to take the practice field, but added, "He plays just as aggressive and tough as he ever has, so I'm anxious to see what he adds to the club, and he's fired up about it too."
Johnson, who signed with Seattle as an undrafted free agent out of South Dakota State in May, spent most of the season on Seattle's practice squad before being released last week. Benton, who went undrafted out of Liberty last year, signed with the Browns after the draft and started the season on their practice squad, later appearing in one game. He spent time on New England's practice squad this year before being released last month. The Seahawks had two openings on their practice squad, having released receiver Phillip Dorsett II and running back B.J. Emmons on Tuesday.
Take a look at running back Adrian Peterson over the course of his NFL career. Peterson, who signed to Seattle's practice squad on December 1, 2021, has played 15 seasons in the league and is a seven-time Pro-Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro.