The Detroit Lions used two second-round picks in recent years on running backs. But it's the 35-year-old Adrian Peterson scooped up six days before the season started that is leading the way.
In Week 3, it became clear All Day is the lead dog in the Lions backfield over Kerryon Johnson and rookie D'Andre Swift. Peterson took 38 snaps in Sunday's 26-23 win over Arizona, more than doubling Johnson (18) and Swift (5). The veteran took 23 carries for 75 yards, while Johnson toted three times for 16 yards, and Swift was only used as a pass-catcher.
Based on offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell's comments Tuesday, expect Peterson to continue to carry the load.
"It's not anything that those guys are or aren't doing," Bevell said, via ESPN. "We're just trying to, again, accentuate their positives and put them in positions to be successful. You saw Swift. His plays were a little bit down. We want to keep those up and get him more involved. The one play he catches, he has a nice catch-and-run, looks fast, looks explosive.
"It's just continuing to manage those guys and putting them in the best situations."
The Lions used a committee approach in the first two losses, before riding Peterson in Sunday's win. The veteran has averaged 4.9 yards per carry on the season. If he keeps up that pace, it'd be his highest mark since 2012, when he went for 6.0 YPC, winning the NFL MVP award in Minnesota.
Peterson's ability to hit the hole and gain yardage to keep the Lions on schedule meshes with Bevell's preferred method of offense, particularly given the OC's insistence on first-down runs.
The Lions aren't worried about grinding down the 35-year-old Peterson over the course of a season.
"I've told you, this guy is a freak of nature now. I don't know where that wall is or where he's going to hit it. The guy is always asking for more," Bevell said. "He is in great shape. He takes care of his body. He does all those little things to set himself up for that success.
"I don't know when it's going to happen, but he wants [the ball], we want him to have it and we'll just keep continuing to go there and spell him with Kerryon, spell him with Swift and kind of go from there."
Peterson wants to climb the RB yards ladder to inch closer to Emmitt Smith's all-time rushing mark. AD looks like he'll get those opportunities in Detroit. He's on pace for 1,114 rushing yards this season, which would surpass Hall of Famer John Riggins as the oldest player in NFL history with 1,000-plus rushing yards.