Assists aren't a stat in football, but if they were, Adrian Peterson would've gotten one on Derrius Guice's first career rushing touchdown.
After an interception set up the Redskins at the goal line in their December matchup with the Panthers last season, Peterson began to take the field, ready to capitalize on the turnover and punch the ball in for six.
But then, according to Derrius Guice, Peterson "just stopped" and came back to the visiting sideline.
"He told me to get my first rushing touchdown," Guice said of Peterson.
So, Guice did just that. Afterward, he asked the future Hall of Famer why he didn't take the carry himself.
"He told me it's almost the end of his era and it's the beginning of mine," Guice recalled. "So he wants me to get started on my career."
That story comes from the following video, which was played before Peterson won the NFL's Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award this past weekend on the eve of Super Bowl LIV. For something that's just a couple of minutes long, it does a superb job capturing how much Peterson has meant not just to the Redskins, but to the rest of the league as well:
This moment is still unreal to me pic.twitter.com/BSbFBgplcy— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) February 5, 2020
"A.P. plays the game the way it should be played," JJ Watt says at the video's start. "Tough, physical, fast, very hard to tackle. But I think he also really respects the work and effort everybody's putting in out there."
"For him to take time after the game to talk to me, that meant a lot," Saquon Barkley explains after footage of him and Peterson chatting is shown.
The 13-year veteran, who might just be able to suit up for another 13 years at the rate he's going, is in the same tier as the aforementioned Watt, Tom Brady and Larry Fitzgerald when it comes to accomplishments on the field and amount of respect off of it.
Running backs look up to him — duh — but so do players at every other position and of every age. His newest award will join countless others as just the latest example of the impact he's had on the sport.
"You encounter people all the time and you never know how that encounter may change someone's life," Peterson says. "What you say to that person, how you treat that person. Because it's bigger than just football. It's way bigger than that."
Greg Abernathy contributed to this story.
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