There are times when Patrick Peterson, for all his talent, fades into the background. He is an elite cornerback, but when teams don’t throw at him there is not much to talk about.
The past eight days have been anything but quiet. Peterson stirred up a hornet’s nest last week when he requested a trade, only to acknowledge a few days later that it wasn’t happening.
And then on Sunday, he allowed a 55-yard touchdown to 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. It was the only catch of the day for Goodwin and a rare blip for Peterson, but combined with the early-week headlines, it put him front and center.
Peterson called it a “bonehead play” and understood the criticism.
“That’s my job title,” Peterson said. “All eyes on me. I’m the last line of defense. When something big happens, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s like, ‘What happened? How did that happen?’ It comes with the territory. I don’t shy away from it. If it happens, it happens. I’m going to go out there and continue to play at a high level and find a way to get that play back.”
Peterson said Goodwin’s catch-and-run came because he was expecting a different route based off the 49ers’ formation.
“I wasn’t really expecting him to not give me a move and just go right now,” Peterson said. “And with him being a world class track star… I was kind of in trouble. At the end of the day, he made a great play.”
Peterson rebounded nicely later in the game, breaking up a deep pass intended for Goodwin. The Cardinals eventually got the win, and after the game, Peterson broke down the huddle in the postgame locker room.
“Patrick is a captain,” coach Steve Wilks said. “He’s a leader on this football team. I want him to have a voice, and that’s what he wanted to do, and I gave him that opportunity.”