Patrick Peterson made an unexpected appearance at OTAs on Monday.
The Cardinals cornerback even snagged a pass from rookie quarterback Kyler Murray as he made his return.
“It was a welcome-back gift,” Peterson said, via the team’s official website. “He gift-wrapped it for me.”
After missing the first two weeks of workouts, Peterson and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury said it was always the plan for the veteran to report this week.
“We’ve been in communication throughout the offseason,” Kingsbury said, via the Arizona Republic. “It was great to have him back. He’s a great teammate, a great player and he brought some good juice.”
Peterson was suspended for the first six games of the 2019 season in May after he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He initially was going to appeal the ban, but decided to accept the punishment, which will keep him out of games against the Lions, Ravens, Panthers, Seahawks, Bengals and Falcons until the team visits the Giants in Week 7.
In the meantime, Peterson plans to keep practicing.
“I am very deeply sad and sorry my name is associated with (a failed test) and that I’m letting my brothers down,” Peterson said. “It’s behind us now. I’m looking forward to coming back against the Giants.
“Missing those six weeks, that’s going to be the biggest thing. I’m still going to be in great shape; that’s not going to be a problem. It’s going to be about getting back in the groove because I’m not going to be there for the first six weeks. I just hope they hold on and when I come back, it’s only going to be positives.”
Peterson, 28, was selected by the Cardinals with the No. 5 overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft and has remained with the team since.
It hasn’t always been easy, though, as Peterson reportedly requested a trade in October after saying he “desperately” wanted out of Arizona.
The Cardinals finished with a league-worst 3-13 record in 2018.