The Minnesota Vikings are waiting for the NFL to act on Adrian Peterson’s potential reinstatement to the league after the star running back pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault after being charged with felony injury to a child after he admitted to a grand jury to disciplining one of his 4-year-old sons with a wooden switch.
The plea came last week, with Peterson given two years probation, a $4,000 fine and 80 hours of community service, but it opened the path to Peterson’s return to the league. He was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List a few days after he was indicted and was forced to stay away from the team facility since then but still paid his $11.75 million salary, per terms of being on the exempt list. The NFL Players Association said in a statement that it would push for the league to make a decision on Peterson as early as Monday, but Peterson remained on the exempt list and away from team activities on Monday as the Vikings returned from their bye week.
The NFLPA issued another statement Monday after the NFL made no decision with Peterson by close of business on Monday, filing an expedited, non-injury grievance to remove Adrian Peterson from the Commissioner’s Exempt list “based on explicit language in a signed agreement dated September 18, 2014. We asked the NFL to honor the terms of that agreement last week and as of now, they have failed to respond or comply. It is our obligation to protect all players’ rights, and we will pursue any and all breaches of any contract between a player and his team or the NFL,” the statement read.
The Vikings said the first move in Peterson’s potential return is up to the league.
“At this time his potential reinstatement is under NFL guidelines. As an organization, we respect and understand the league’s process,” the Vikings said in a release issued Monday. “In the interim, our focus is on the team and preparing for this weekend’s game against the Bears.”
Head coach Mike Zimmer reiterated the sentiment of the team’s release and declined to get into specifics about how the team would react if the NFL reinstates Peterson. He said Peterson rejoining the team wouldn’t be more of a distraction than what they have already dealt with.
“This team has been pretty resilient, pretty focused on everything we’ve done to this point,” Zimmer said. “We’re going to continue to prepare, just like we always have. We’re going to continue to work. When it comes time to make those decisions, then we’ll make those.”
Zimmer said the team would prepare as if Peterson won’t be with the team, but that could change anytime, even before the Vikings begin preparations for the Bears game in earnest on Wednesday.
“When those decisions are made, then we can make decisions,” Zimmer said. “Until then, really our hands are tied. There’s really nothing we can do about it other than what I’ve said all along – we love the kid. He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do and we support him and we want him to get through this for him and then we’ll worry about all the other things we have to worry about at that point in time.”
Vikings in wait-and-see mode with Peterson
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