Adrian Peterson will return to the Minnesota Vikings to play against the New Orleans Saints next Sunday, TMZ confirms. The team deactivated Peterson from playing against the New England Patriots on September 14. But, will let him play next weekend while his judicial process continues. The Vikings owner Zygi Wilf issued a statement regarding his decision:
“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.”
In regards to the matter, Peterson released a personal statement, via Twitter, in which he requests privacy about the case:
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) September 15, 2014
Peterson has cooperated with police and the indictment elaborated on his “whooping.”
The “whooping” – as Peterson put it when interviewed by police – occurred in Spring, Texas, in May. Peterson’s son had pushed another one of Peterson’s children off of a motorbike video game. As punishment, Peterson grabbed a tree branch – which he consistently referred to as a “switch” – removed the leaves and struck the child repeatedly.
The beating allegedly resulted in numerous injuries to the child, including cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the child’s hands. Peterson then texted the boy’s mother, saying that one wound in particular would make her “mad at me about his leg. I got kinda good wit the tail end of the switch.”
Peterson also allegedly said via text message to the child’s mother that he “felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh” and also acknowledged the injury to the child’s scrotum in a text message, saying, “Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I’m all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!”
In further text messages, Peterson allegedly said, “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”
According to police reports, the child, however, had a slightly different story, telling authorities that “Daddy Peterson hit me on my face.” The child also expressed worry that Peterson would punch him in the face if the child reported the incident to authorities. He also said that he had been hit by a belt and that “there are a lot of belts in Daddy’s closet.” He added that Peterson put leaves in his mouth when he was being hit with the switch while his pants were down. The child told his mother that Peterson “likes belts and switches” and “has a whooping room.”
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted by a grand jury for reckless or negligent injury of a child after the NFL star spanked his son with a switch. According to reports, the Montgomery County sheriff investigators received the case earlier this year and Peterson has been cooperative with them.
“The Vikings are in the process of gathering information regarding the legal situation involving Adrian Peterson,” Jeff Anderson, team spokesman, said in a statement. “At this time, we will defer further questions to Adrian’s attorney Rusty Hardin.”
It was just last year that Peterson mourned the death of his 2-year-old son who died after allegedly being beaten by his mother’s boyfriend– Joseph Robert Patterson. He was charged with murder and manslaughter.
Peterson’s legal trouble comes on the heels of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal.