'Funny how things work out': Pals Adrian Peterson, Everson Griffen reunited in Detroit

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News

When Adrian Peterson's father Nelson, a Dallas native, caught wind that the Cowboys were shopping defensive end Everson Griffen, he texted his son, telling him the Lions should make a run at reuniting the former Vikings teammates. 

Turns out Nelson was on to something. The Lions pulled the trigger on a swap Tuesday, sending a sixth-round draft pick to Dallas in exchange for the veteran edge rusher. 

"I was excited," Peterson said. "Bringing back some old memories. It's going to be good to just have him in the building, just his energy, his whole vibe. He's a heckuva player, as well."

Former Vikings teammates Adrian Peterson and Everson Griffen are pictured after a game between Washington and Minnesota last season.

Because of the league's COVID-19 protocols, Griffin won't be able to suit up for the Lions until next week, when the team travels to Minnesota to play the Vikings. And while Peterson has to focus on the task at hand, this Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, he can't help but be amused that the first time the two will share the field again will be against their longtime former employer. 

"Yeah, it is kinda strange," Peterson said. "It's funny how things work out, you know? Who would have thought we would meet again playing for the Detroit Lions? The first time we'll actually get to play together will be against the Vikings. It's kinda cool, man. It's funny how things come full circle."

Peterson said he and Griffen were very close while in Minnesota and he hopes the two will have an opportunity to grab dinner here in the next few days. But after sharing one of his favorite memories, maybe the two should skip the Chinese food. 

"Me and Everson, we used to lock up," Peterson said. "Meaning, it was like a wrestling match. Every training camp, at least once or twice, but usually it was once because it was pretty intense.

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"This was after training camp," Peterson said. "We were coming out of Friday's practice. We'd normally have our tables lined up and we'd pick which restaurants would provide meals. This day it was a Chinese restaurant that a lot of the guys really loved the food and it was all laid out. I don't know what kicked it off or started it. I'm sure it had something to do with like us just talking, going back and forth. We ended up locking up again and it was intense. You know, he's very competitive and I'm very competitive. We ended up locking up, we're tussling and we're falling to the ground and getting up, just pushing each other back and forth.

"I caught him slipping — like you guys can ask him about this, he won't admit it, he's going to say that he won all of them — but I caught him slipping and his knee bent back and I took advantage and I rushed him. And I ended up stopping because I was finnin' to run him into all the food. Now, when I think about it, I should have just sacrificed the food because when I eased up, he came full strength ahead and, bam, slammed me into the ground. I was like, 'Bruh.' That pretty much ended it, but I was like, 'Bro, you lost. You seen that I gave up. Why did you take advantage of me like that?' (He said), 'No, no, no, I had you. I had you.' So we kinda went back and forth about that for a little bit, but that was just one of many stories I can share with you."