Adrian Peterson blasts NFL Network's Mike Garafolo for report that he criticized Dwayne Haskins

Dwayne Haskins is not off to a great start in the NFL.

But Adrian Peterson is not here for second-hand reports that he has been critical of the rookie Washington Redskins quarterback.

In two injury-relief appearances, Haskins has completed 54.5 percent of his passes for 140 yards, four interceptions and zero touchdowns, not exactly displaying the first-round pedigree that made him the No. 15 pick in the draft.

Adrian Peterson attacked a report that he has been critical of rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins. (Geoff Burke/Reuters)

Haskins’ struggles vs. Vikings

His latest outing came Thursday night in a brief appearance that saw him complete three of five passes with an interception on a bad overthrow in a 19-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

The third-quarter turnover arrived in the red zone and thwarted Washington’s best chance to get back into the game while trailing 16-9.

Garafolo: Adrian Peterson called out Haskins

After the game, NFL Network’s Mike Garofolo reported that Peterson was critical of Haskins in the postgame locker room.

“Adrian Peterson said it,” Garafolo said. “After the game — I am told — that he mentioned to Dwayne Haskins ‘Get your nose in the playbook. Learn these plays. Everybody thinks that you don’t know them. You are proving them right. It is time to study the playbook. Know these things inside, outside, frontward, backward, everything you can.’

“If Adrian Peterson is telling you this, Dwayne Haskins, it’s time, man. It’s time.”

Notice that Garafolo didn’t directly quote Peterson, but reported on something he heard second-hand.

Peterson: Don’t put words in my mouth

Peterson did not appreciate the report. He tweeted at Garafolo on Saturday, telling him not to attribute words to him that he didn’t hear directly while showing support for Haskins.

Not exactly a denial

Notice here that Peterson didn’t deny Garafolo’s report — only that he took the opportunity to attack it as second-hand.

If Garafolo’s report is accurate — which it very may well be — Peterson’s words for Haskins are the kind made in confidence. A respected NFL veteran, Peterson is in a spot to give a rookie some stern advice, but would likely not want to be seen criticizing his quarterback in public.

The optimistic outlook he provided on Haskins in his tweet is the preferred public stance.

Either way, Haskins has a lot of work to do to be ready to start in the NFL.

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