Just three days after deactivating star running back Adrian Peterson for last Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, the Minnesota Vikings announced Monday that Peterson is expected to play against the New Orleans Saints for this weekend’s game and will return to meetings and practices this week.
The announcement follows on the heels of the initial decision to deactivate Peterson after Peterson was indicted by a grand jury in Texas on charges for reckless or negligent injury of a child late last week. Early reports allege that Peterson struck his four-year-old son with a tree branch when disciplining him. A warrant was issued for his arrest. Peterson turned himself in to authorities in Montgomery County, Texas shortly after 1:00 a.m. early Saturday morning and was released at 1:35 a.m. CT after posting $15,000 bond.
Vikings owners, Zygi and Mark Wilf released a statement regarding their decision to reinstate Peterson:
“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.”
Although there has been mixed responses by fans on the decision to reinstate Adrian Peterson to team activities and Sunday’s game, one Vikings sponsor, Radisson Hotels, has made it known that they are suspending their sponsorship with the team:
“Radisson takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children. We are closely following the situation and effective immediately, Radisson is suspending its limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances.”
Radisson is the first sponsor to suspend their involvement with the Vikings. No other sponsors, at this time, have come forward to do the same.
For now, the Vikings and Peterson continue ahead as normal. Peterson’s first court appearance is reportedly delayed until October 8 due to his attorney, Rusty Hardin, being out of the country this week.