Following a New Orleans Saints season opener in which Adrian Peterson saw just nine snaps and six carries for 18 yards, the question heading into a Week 2 tussle versus the New England Patriots is how much the running back will see the field.
Peterson said on Thursday he "didn't sign up for nine snaps."
Speaking with NFL Network's Jane Slater on Sunday morning, coach Sean Payton said he never discussed Peterson's usage before signing the back to a deal in April.
"I don't think we've ever discussed featuring him like he was featured in Minnesota," Payton said. "And yet, our hopes obviously are that we have more than fifty snaps like we did a week ago. It's tough when you have eight possessions. I felt like two-thirds of the call sheet we didn't even get to so we ended up in a hurry-up mode in the last part of the game. Hopefully we have that balance that we're looking for and we'll see how that goes."
With Ingram entrenched as the starter, it was clear from the outset of the deal that the 32-year-old Peterson wouldn't be a workhorse. Perhaps All Day believed he could beat out Ingram and convince Payton to give him the ball more once he got into training camp.
The wild card in the situation is Kamara, who the Payton traded up to draft after bringing in Peterson. Perhaps Peterson doesn't land in New Orleans had he waited until after the draft to sign. The dynamic, pass-catching Kamara out-snapped both Peterson and Ingram in the opener.
As Payton noted, the game script against Minnesota had a lot to do with Peterson's lack of touches. When the Saints trail, Peterson will spend more time on the sidelines. If Payton is trying to salt away a lead in the 4th quarter, he'll turn to Peterson.
Facing Tom Brady on Sunday could lead to a shootout, which might see Peterson again tied to the sideline. How the veteran running back responds this week will indicate how the situation will evolve as the season rolls on.