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Former Vikings Now Redskins RB Adrian Peterson Cheered After Reaching 6th on the Rushing List

With two minutes left in the game, and the game well in hand, the Minnesota crowd turned its appreciation to someone it knows well: running back Adrian Peterson.

And the cheers caused the longtime running back, one of the hardest runners in the NFL, to choke up, John Keim of ESPN reports.

The Washington Redskins running back, who moved into sixth place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list earlier in the game, was shown on the scoreboard in both end zones, leading to a prolonged ovation, chants of “AP!” and Peterson twice waving to the crowd. The second time, he kissed his fingers, then showed them to the crowd. He smiled, but he later said the applause also caused him to be emotional. Peterson spent 10 years with the Vikings, rushing for a franchise-record 11,747 yards and 97 touchdowns.

“I had to hold tears back, to be honest,” Peterson said. “It was special, a special moment.”

He also called it a bittersweet one, considering the Redskins lost 19-9. But Peterson showed he still had life left, rushing for 76 yards on 14 carries. The Redskins had the ball for only 8:01 of the second half, giving Peterson fewer chances to run the ball. But it was a much better return than the one he made in 2017 when, playing for the Saints, he rushed six times for 18 yards in the season opener.

This one meant a lot to both Peterson and the crowd. That Saints game was known for the scowl Peterson gave to coach Sean Payton. There was no scowl to be seen Thursday.

“Just coming back and seeing the love they still have for me and they showed, man, it felt good,” Peterson said. “Even in defeat I’m able to embrace it and take it for what it was and it meant a lot. I spent a decade here so just to see that ovation and the love they showed it was meaningful.”

Peterson even caught himself doing something he once did often during his decade here.

“There was a couple times during the game I caught myself singing the Skol song,” he said. “It’s a natural instinct. Some things are just triggered.”

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