It’s been a tough season for Adrian Peterson to say the least. Peterson made headlines following a TMZ photo release that showed his son bruised and bleeding following a whipping administered by the star running back. According to TMZ sources, the bruises were a result of Peterson using a tree branch, or a switch, as he disciplined the child. Peterson was indicted by a Texas grand jury Sept. 12 on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. The public response was deafening as many condemned Peterson and his actions, as well as the Minnesota Vikings organization, which was originally planning to let Peterson play on as his case played out.
On Nov. 4 Peterson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless injury charges after injuring his son while disciplining him. The league responded swiftly and severely as reported by CNN last November – placing him on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list on September 12th, which kept him off the field, but with pay, until November 18th, when the league announced he would be suspended without pay for the rest of the NFL season. Peterson’s only game was on September 7th, and he missed nine games between being placed on the exempt list and learning of the suspension.
Following a lengthy back and forth battle with the NFL in regards to their disciplinary actions and policies, the NFL announced yesterday via press release that as of today, Adrian Peterson is officially ‘reinstated as an active NFL player and may participate in all scheduled activities with the Vikings.’ Via the team website, the Minnesota Vikings also released a statement yesterday stating that “The Minnesota Vikings have been informed by the NFL that Adrian Peterson has been reinstated. We look forward to Adrian re-joining the Vikings.” Regarding the terms of the reinstatement, Ian Rappaport of the NFL Network tweeted “No additional suspension for Adrian Peterson, but Judge Doty will decide in October how many game checks he loses. Could be three or none”.
The return to the field in Minnesota could prove bittersweet for Peterson however; he’s expressed publicly that he doesn’t feel the Vikings supported him sufficiently during his battle with the state and the league. Speaking with ESPN in February, Peterson called the decision to put him on the exempt list an ‘ambush,’ and told them as recently as Monday that he wasn’t sure whether he would participate in the Vikings’ offseason program. ESPN also reports that ‘Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, has said that Peterson, 30, would like to leave Minnesota, but the Vikings have said repeatedly they want Peterson back and have no plan to trade him.’
For now, Adrian Peterson is a member of the Minnesota Vikings again – which is a start, and with $12.75 million due in salary this season and three more years on his contract, here’s hoping the dominant running back can return to form, and stay out of trouble.
In the hours following the announcement, Adrian Peterson posted this to his twitter account.