Adrian Peterson is expected to start this week against the Carolina Panthers as Detroit Lions rookie D’Andre Swift is dealing with a concussion. Swift will miss Sunday’s game as he is still in the NFL concussion protocol.
However, the NFL veteran said the young running back should have earned the starting role over him a while ago. Peterson noticed the Swift’s elite talent and sensed that the former Georgia Bulldogs star was primed for the role.
Peterson discussed what he saw from Swift in a recent interview with ESPN. Swift earned his first start last week against the Washington Football Team.
“It made sense to me,” Peterson said. “Actually, when I was told, I was like, ‘You guys should have did this two, three weeks ago, you know.’ So I’m here to try to win, that’s my main objective. Of course, I want to play, I’m a competitor.
“So I heard the news (about the concussion), the first thing was, ‘What’s going on?’ It was my concern for his health. It kind of threw me off. But after that, just, OK, the young guy’s down. As a running back room, we have to step up and handle our job.”
Swift broke out with 149 total yards. He five catches and a touchdown as the Lions won 30-27 on Sunday. He was able to practice on Wednesday but was downgraded and placed in concussion protocol.
The Lions ruled him out against the Carolina Panthers. This has vaulted Peterson back into a potential starting role. This season, Peterson has rushed for 371 yards and two touchdowns. He is also averaging 3.8 yards per attempt.
The NFL veteran has been helpful to the talented rookie running back. Swift also noted that additional knowledge has helped him see the football game in a different way.
“To have him in the room, dropping knowledge on everybody in the room – giving us pointers each and every day,” Swift told local reporters. I’m asking him how he’s going about his recovery, his eating habits. Anything that got him to this level. How he keeps going.
“Any knowledge I can get from him to help me. Just the way he goes to work every day … his practice habits. That’s first and foremost.”
“It’s kind of been a process for (Swift),” Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “He wasn’t able to get as many reps as we hoped that he would have at the start of training camp with some of the things that he was working through, so we feel like we got him up to speed and he’s in a good spot and then showed up in the game. He did a great job with the run game. We were able to get him involved in the pass game as well. And as you watched the games prior, I think you can kind of see some of the things that were coming and how we were using him. He stepped up.”
As Swift gets healthy, he has a bright future with the Lions. Learning from former NFL MVP is also useful for Swift to develop this season. To earn respect from Peterson is also a big deal as Swift continues his NFL ascent.