Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will practice this week and is scheduled to play in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, despite facing a child abuse charge, team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said in a statement Monday.
“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,” the Vikings’ statement said.
Peterson, who was kept out of Sunday’s game versus the New England Patriots, turned himself in to East Texas authorities Saturday, two days after an indictment alleged the 29-year-old father did “recklessly or by criminal negligence cause bodily injury” to his son, a felony.
Peterson quickly posted $15,000 bail and was released, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Though Peterson hasn’t publicly addressed the incident, his attorney said his client used “a switch to spank his son” and was simply doling discipline much like “he experienced as a child growing up in East Texas.”
As the NFL reviews the running back’s actions under its personal conduct policy, the Vikings owners said they will “monitor the situation closely.”
“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,” the statement said. “This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing.”
Referring to the decision to keep Peterson out of Sunday’s game, the Vikings owners, who are brothers, said, “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.”
Considered one of the best running backs in the NFL — if not the best — Peterson’s absence was probably felt during the Vikings’ 30-7 loss to the Patriots on Sunday.