Adrian Peterson has participated in one single preseason game in the past six years. The outing was last year with the New Orleans Saints in the third preseason game. The running back took six carries for 15 yards that day.
"I'd like to get him some touches, try to get a good lather going," Gruden said of getting Peterson work this week, via ESPN.com.
Adding Peterson at this late stage, after injuries decimated the running back room, the Redskins need to find out quickly how the future Hall of Famer meshes in Gruden's offense.
"You tell by the whole body of work that he's put on throughout his career," Gruden said. "The big thing you try to see in the first seven, eight carries is just getting out of the huddle, having the plays register in his mind, how quickly he can adapt to our audibles and all of that that goes into a game plan. Try to get a feel for the quarterback, the snap count, our linemen, our blocking schemes.
"But as far as viewing him as a player and what he can do, the most important thing is in [the Redskins'] system what he can do."
The 33-year-old has compiled 601 rushing yards in 13 games over the past two seasons, averaging 3.1 yards per carry over that span. While Peterson showed flashes of his early-down ability last season in two 130-plus appearances in Arizona, there are major questions about how he fits into Gruden's system.
Peterson offers little in the passing game, earning 75 total catches for 489 yards combined in the last six seasons. With Gruden relying on his backs to catch passes, would the Redskins find themselves in a similar place as the Saints did last season, with Peterson telegraphing the play-call when he's on the field? With no guaranteed money in his deal, the running back must prove he's an upgrade on Rob Kelley.
For now, the coach just needs to see how the veteran looks in game-action.
"I'd like to see where he is after contact," Gruden said. "I want to see the explosion in the hole, his vision, all that good stuff. I don't think he's going to lose that, but it's just a matter of taking the hits, play after play after play and see where he stands as far as stamina goes."
We don't doubt Peterson is in great shape entering Friday's tilt. He's not known as "All Day" for nothing. The biggest question is how he fits in Gruden's offense.