Adrian Peterson Cleared by Vikings, Expected to Play Sunday


The Minnesota Vikings will allow star running back Adrian Peterson to practice this week and he “is expected to play” Sunday against the New Orleans Saints after being benched amid child abuse charges.

Peterson was indicted by a grand jury Friday on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child.

Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf made the announcement Monday morning about Peterson’s future with the team in the following statement:

Today’s decision was made after significant thought, discussion and consideration. As evidenced by our decision to deactivate Adrian from yesterday’s game, this is clearly a very important issue. On Friday, we felt it was in the best interests of the organization to step back, evaluate the situation and not rush to judgment given the seriousness of this matter. At that time, we made the decision that we felt was best for the Vikings and all parties involved.

To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child. At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action. This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing. Currently we believe we are at a juncture where the most appropriate next step is to allow the judicial process to move forward.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and support Adrian’s fulfillment of his legal responsibilities throughout this process.

Peterson’s case will also be reviewed by the league under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.

The father allegedly beat his 4-year-old son with a switch back in May, causing multiple injuries to the child. The injuries included cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum.

Peterson argues that he has done nothing wrong, telling authorities that he was simply administering punishment to his son after he pushed one of his siblings. He added that the punishment he delivered was no different than anything he received as a child.

“Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son,” Peterson’s lawyer Rusty Hardin said in his statement. “He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas. Adrian has never hidden from what happened.”

The NFL player is currently free on $15,000 bond. He will make his first court appearance Wednesday at a hearing in Conroe, Texas, where he is expected to enter a plea. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to as many as two years in state jail as well as a $10,000 fine.

(Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)