The meniscus injury Derrius Guice suffered in Week 1 against the Eagles obviously affected him, considering how much he did to be healthy for this season and be named the Redskins' starting running back.
But the news also really got to Adrian Peterson, the guy who lost his starting job to Guice once the second-year pro was able to fully return.
So, Peterson processed it himself. Quickly, though, he made sure to check on his young teammate who's already been through a lot in the NFL.
"Had the opportunity to talk to him and sent him a message as well," Peterson told JP Finlay in an exclusive Redskins Talk interview. "It hurt my heart. I had to hold back tears. To see it in his face, and just how — the disgust in his face, I could tell that he was down. I remember the first thing I said to him was, 'Hey, keep your head up. Keep your head up.' Talked to him, just kind of watched him to see how he was carrying himself."
When Peterson was benched in the opener in Philly, it was easy to assume that he might somewhat resent Guice getting the main role over him. Yet throughout the whole offseason and that storyline, Peterson never once diminished Guice's ability or position on the depth chart.
According to how much the vet is checking on the 22-year-old, it sure sounds like they're quite close, in fact.
"Then I texted him [Tuesday] a long message, just encouraging him, and let him know that you never know why things happen," Peterson said. "Back-to-back years, dealing with an injury, we don't know how severe it is, you just got to make the best out of the situation. Thinking 'why?' or having that negative energy is not going to help you come back."
As Peterson said, the extent of Guice's recent knee issue isn't yet clear. Indications are that he will be sidelined for at least a couple of contests. Peterson wants to make sure he uses whatever time he has to take in a productive way.
"You should be focusing all your energy on what are you going to do to be able to get back and come back and be better than you were before?" the future Hall of Famer said. "He reached back out and said what he had to say. It's a brotherhood, it's all love."
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