Washington played without running back Adrian Peterson on Sunday as head coach Jay Gruden decided to leave him on the inactive list.
Gruden said the decision was based on special teams needs as Peterson doesn’t play in the kicking game and Wendell Smallwood does. Peterson talked about being left out of the lineup after the game.
“I don’t think I’ve kind of grasped it yet,” Peterson said, via Kareem Copeland of the Washington Post. “It’s my first time ever being inactive, a healthy scratch. It was tough, of course. I’m a super competitior. I’ve been thinking about playing these guys since last year since the season ended and they broke us off. So it was tough not being out there, so I just have to make the best out of the situation, and in that way, I just become a coach on the sideline. Helping the guys out as much as I could, and cheering for the guys as well.”
Washington went up 17-0 in the first half, but failed to capitalize on that lead as they gained just 49 yards while the Eagles were coming back to go ahead 31-20. Derrius Guice started at running back and picked up just 18 yards on 10 carries and a more effective running game would certainly have helped their chances of holding onto the lead.
The need for special teams players isn’t going to go away, so it remains to be seen when Peterson will get on the field this season.