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Patricia: Lions’ decision to sign Adrian Peterson not related to RB injuries

The Lions apparently just really wanted Adrian Peterson.

NFL: NOV 03 Redskins at Bills Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Detroit Lions’ decision to sign Adrian Peterson came as a bit of surprise to many. After drafting both D’Andre Swift and Jason Huntley this offseason, it appeared the Lions were stacked at the running back position heading into the 2020 season. However, the Lions were also dealing with a fair amount of injuries at the position during training camp. Kerryon Johnson is sporting a heavy brace on his knee. Bo Scarbrough and Swift were both held out for weeks of practices after suffering early injuries.

So, naturally, some put two and two together and believed the Peterson move was injury insurance for the Lions’ current situation. However, Lions head coach Matt Patricia dismissed that notion during his Monday press conference.

“With Adrian Peterson, it was kind of independent of everything else that was going on,” Patricia said. “Just having an opportunity to talk to him on the phone was great, as we pushed, and figured out it would be something that we wanted to pursue—and there was mutual interest. So it’s kind of an independent situation.”

The Lions officially announced the signing of Peterson hours prior to the press conference, putting Scarbrough on injured reserve to make room for the veteran running back. As for the statuses of Swift and Kerryon, Patricia didn’t feel like giving away any information this early in the week.

“I think we’ll wait until Wednesday and do the injury report,” Patricia said with a smile.

Peterson could factor into Sunday’s opener against the Chicago Bears. Having started his career under current Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, there is already a familiarity and comfort level there. However, Patricia was cautious not to jump the gun too quickly with Peterson.

“We’re excited about it, but we’ve got a long way to go,” Patricia said. “He just got here. He’s got a lot to learn, and I know he’s going to do everything possible to put everything into it, and we’ll just take it from there.”

So should we expect Peterson to play on Sunday?

“We’ll see.”

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.