Coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Wednesday that the Seahawks signed the 36-year-old Peterson to their practice squad as a potential reinforcement for their banged-up backfield.
"Excited to see if he can help us out and give us a little something," Carroll said. "He's a player that I've known forever -- way back to his high-school days -- and admired him tremendously over the years. Always disappointed we didn't get him back in the day, but like I just told him, we finally got him. So I'm looking forward to seeing how he does and where he can fit in. He's an incredible competitor and a great guy, so I'm anxious to give him a chance to get on the field with our boys."
Carroll held off on any comments about what Peterson may add to Seattle's backfield, saying he needs to see him practice first. The Seahawks (3-8) are in what Carroll described as "recovery mode" in practice these next few days as they prepare to host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, having lost to the Washington Football Team on Monday night before making the cross-country trip back home.
"I've got to wait and see how he does out here," Carroll said. "I've watched the film and seen him play. He plays just as tough and aggressive as he ever has, so I'm anxious to see what he adds to the club. He's fired up about it, too."
Peterson ranks fifth in NFL history with 14,902 career rushing yards. He spent his first 10 seasons with Minnesota and then had stints with Arizona, New Orleans, Washington and Detroit before his most recent one in Tennessee.
The Seahawks rank 25th in the league with 92.5 rushing yards per game. They've been without their preferred No. 1 running back, Chris Carson, since Week 5 because of a neck injury that required season-ending surgery. Alex Collins has started in his absence and has only topped 50 yards rushing once in that seven-game span.
Collins and DeeJay Dallas combined for 18 rushing yards on 10 carries against Washington as Rashaad Penny (hamstring) and Travis Homer (calf) were inactive due to injuries. Undrafted rookie Josh Johnson was elevated from the practice squad for that game but only played on special teams.
Carroll didn't know whether Penny or Homer will be available Sunday against the 49ers, though he said the word from trainers is that Penny will practice.
The Seahawks' loss to Washington all but eliminated their chances of making the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons.
Carroll was asked about the thinking behind adding Peterson versus giving a look to a younger back like Johnson.
"We're trying to get ready to win this football game," Carroll said. "So I'm going to see if Adrian has got something to offer us. Just in his presence and his toughness, he brings something. So let's see what happens. We're just trying to get the right mix. Rashaad's been in and out. We've been concerned about him getting back and staying back. Homer has been banged up and we're not sure about him this week either. So it just looks like there's some opportunities.
"So we'll see how it goes and see how the guys respond. I'm as excited as probably you guys are just to see what he looks like playing in our uniform and doing something for us, so we'll see how it goes."