Redskins-Vikings On Thursday Night Becomes Personal For Peterson, Keenum, Cousins

Some games just mean a little more to the people in them. “If it was any other team, I’d be just as motivated,” Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson...

(Photo Credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Some games just mean a little more to the people in them.

“If it was any other team, I’d be just as motivated,” Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson was saying of Thursday night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. “But of course I want to play against Minnesota.” Peterson is nursing a sprained ankle.

It was Minnesota that drafted Peterson. He played 10 years for the Vikings and willingly takes credit for helping the Vikings succeed in getting a new stadium built. He was a star and they succeeded on the field. He’s the franchise’s all-time leading rusher (11,747 yards).

Peterson, at 34, is with his third team and it is struggling badly. The Redskins (1-6) have beaten only the winless Miami Dolphins, and that was by a single point. A win would have meaning whether or not it was the Vikings.

The personal grudge match, however, is not limited to Peterson.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins fought the Redskins for two years over his contract, even though he was the closest thing they had to someone who could actually play the position. Ultimately he left for Minnesota as a free agent, signing a three-year guaranteed deal worth $84 million. Times have not always been easy as he pushes through his second season with the Vikings, but the team is 5-2 and has won three straight as Cousins keeps pulling his game together.

Then there’s Redskins quarterback Case Keenum. No matter what he did in 2017 with the Vikings, coach Mike Zimmer never seemed happy and Keenum left for the Denver Broncos as a free agent before moving on to Washington. What did Keenum do in 2017? He passed for 3,547 yards with 22 touchdowns and a 98.3 rating while leading the Vikings to a 13-3 record and the NFC North division title.

So those are the behind-the-scenes story for Thursday night’s game. It can be seen on Fox and the NFL Network at 8:20 p.m. ET.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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