Vikings bringing Peterson back this week

Adrian Peterson will be rejoining the Vikings this week and is expected to play on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Adrian Peterson will be rejoining the Minnesota Vikings this week after being deactivated Sunday and spending the weekend away from the team following charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child.

The Vikings announced the move Monday morning with a statement from owners Zygi and Mark Wilf.

“Today’s decision was made after significant thought, discussion and consideration,” the statement read. “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.”

Peterson was indicted on the charges Friday in Montgomery County, Texas, after allegations that he disciplined his 4-year-old son numerous times with a “switch,” a tree branch stripped of leaves to discipline a child. Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, issued a statement Friday admitting that Peterson did that and that his actions reflected how Peterson was disciplined as a child.

Peterson flew to Texas to be booked and posted $15,000 bond around 1 a.m. Saturday. The team announced his deactivation on Friday only hours after the indictment was made public.

“To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child,” Monday’s statement from the Wilfs read. “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.”

Montgomery county assistant district attorney Phil Grant said on Saturday that if the case goes to trial, it likely wouldn’t happen until 2015 because of the early stages of the investigation. If convicted, Peterson would be facing up to two years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine, although Grant said people without a prior criminal record would be eligible for probation.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and support Adrian’s fulfillment of his legal responsibilities throughout this process,” the Wilfs said in concluding their statement.

After starting the season with a 34-6 win over the St. Louis Rams, the Vikings struggled in all phases Sunday in a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots. Peterson rushed for 75 yards on 21 carries in the opener. Without him, the Vikings rushed for 54 yards on 19 carries against the Patriots.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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