Highlights and feel-good moments have been precious currencies for the Redskins during this ill-fated season.
And when a highlight was to be had, it’s seemingly vanished in the time it takes to snap a selfie.
With three games remaining, Peterson is 282 yards away from a second straight 1,000-yard season and the ninth of his career.
“We want to try to reward him with that 1,000-yard season, but it has to obviously come with success running the football,” Redskins offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell said Friday, per team transcript, “which we’ve had some recent success there and really put it on him.”
As Washington looks to spoil Philadelphia’s playoff hopes on Sunday, it will also be aiming to further Peterson’s 1,000-yard aspirations and move him up two illustrious rushing lists.
If Peterson finds the holes en route to 66 rushing yards on Sunday, All Day, who currently has 14,036 career rushing yards, will surpass Hall of Famer Curtis Martin (14,101) for the fifth-most rushing yards in NFL history. And if one of his carries come to its conclusion in the end zone, Peterson will have his 110th touchdown on the ground, which would tie him with the legendary Walter Payton for fourth in league lore.
But the 34-year-old tailback has carried on, outlasting the coach that sat him and still running strong seasons longer than many likely thought he had in him.
Some aren’t surprised, though.
“He’s a Hall of Fame player,” O’Connell said. “You watch him daily — I’m sure you guys observe it as well – just his work habits throughout practice, throughout the offseason, his understanding of how to get his body ready for the season and then the ability. A lot of people don’t see the Mondays and the Tuesdays when he’s in the training room and in the weight room, in the tub, cold tub, hot tub, all those things. He is a professional in every sense of the word, what he eats, what he puts in his body, all those things. He’s an unbelievable example for the young guys that we’ve brought in this building not only in that room, but in the entire locker room. Obviously, he’s so gifted, he’s so talented. It’s lasted over a very long career, but he’s still as consistent as anybody on our football team with his approach to playing not only the position, but how to keep his body right, how to make sure he’s going to be there and available to us, which has been huge to our football team.”
For the Redskins, there are no playoffs left to play for, but there is history on the line for AP, who has gained the hard yards during these hard times in D.C. and might well be rewarded with a few more milestones.