Adrian Peterson was arguably the Detroit Lions’ best player Sunday, rushing for 93 yards on 14 carries in his team debut.
But the future Hall of Famer was critical of his play after the game, saying he missed opportunities on two runs that ended up costing the Lions in their 27-23 loss to the Chicago Bears.
“The third-and-1, I didn’t capitalize on,” Peterson said. “My first big run, if I press the safety and cross his face to the right, it’s seven points instead of settling for a field goal and it’s a different game when the ball gets batted and they get the interception and go on and score. It’s a tie ballgame. So it’s little things like that that we have to be critical about that kind of get forgotten and you only remember what happened towards the end of the game.”
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Peterson had an impressive day overall Sunday, especially considering he signed with the team a week earlier and had just three full days of practice.
He failed to convert a third-and-1 on the second play of the second quarter when rookie receiver Quintez Cephus missed a block, and he was hauled down on a 19-yard gain in the first quarter when the Lions settled for a field goal.
But he also led the Lions in rushing yards and carries and added 21 yards receiving on three catches. After the game, he consoled rookie running back D’Andre Swift, who dropped the would-be game-winning touchdown pass with 6 seconds to play.
“I thought he gave great effort, I thought he gave great energy,” Lions coach Matt Patricia said. “I think the guys, really, they like to be out there with him and they know he’s going to work hard and he’s going to go hard every single play. So that was good to see. I really thought he made some tough runs. I thought he brought a physical style to the run game and that was encouraging.”
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The Lions finished Sunday’s game without three of their top four cornerbacks. Rookie Jeff Okudah did not play because of a hamstring injury, and starters Desmond Trufant and Justin Coleman left with hamstring injuries during the game.
Patricia indicated the Lions’ injury issues factored into his decision to try a 55-yard field goal while leading by 10 midway through the fourth quarter.
Matt Prater missed the kick and the Bears took advantage of a short field to score a touchdown and cut their deficit to 23-20.
The Lions called around Sunday on available cornerbacks and might have to make a move early this week considering their upcoming schedule includes games against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals and Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.
“We’ll see what it looks like tomorrow from the injury standpoint and we’ll assess and go forward,” Patricia said. “We know it doesn’t stop, we know we’ve got challenges every week and certainly at the skill positions, the DB position, we know how important it is to have all of those guys out there and to have them be healthy. So we’re going to fight through that.”
ESPN reported that the Lions did a simple restructure on Matthew Stafford’s contract, converting $7.8 million of his base salary into a signing bonus. The move frees up $5.85 million in cap space for this season.
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