Peterson’s hearing concludes after 2 hours

Adrian Peterson didn’t attend a hearing Thursday as part of appealing his suspension, but the hearing focused on testimony from NFL executive Troy Vincent.

Adrian Peterson’s appeal hearing concluded Thursday in New York after about two hours, with the primary focus on testimony from NFL executive Troy Vincent, a person familiar with the case told The Associated Press.

Peterson is seeking reinstatement after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for the final six games of the regular season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Goodell also told Peterson he will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15.

“We want a fair process for Adrian and neutral arbitration for all players,” said George Atallah, the assistant executive of external affairs for the NFL Players Association. “That is something we should all agree on.”

The NFL declined comment.

The players’ union and the NFL have been hassling over revising the personal conduct policy since Ray Rice’s case inspired Goodell to change the guidelines to a six-game suspension for the first assault, battery or domestic violence offense.

Rice’s appeal, however, went to a neutral arbiter who ruled in his favor and reinstated the free agent running back last week. Peterson’s appeal was heard by longtime hearing officer Harold Henderson. The NFLPA had asked Henderson to recuse himself because he’s a former league executive.

Peterson gave a statement without testifying Tuesday and didn’t attend Thursday, according to another source familiar with the case. Another person said Henderson asked Vincent to testify after the NFLPA submitted an audio tape and a transcript of a conversation between Vincent and Peterson as evidence.

The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither side is discussing the case publicly.

According to one source, Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, told Peterson he would be credited with time served while he was on a special exempt list and receive a two-game suspension if he attended a disciplinary hearing Nov. 14 with Goodell.

Peterson skipped that meeting and four days later Goodell suspended him. The 2012 NFL MVP hasn’t played for the Minnesota Vikings since Week 1 after he was charged with child abuse in Texas. He was placed on paid leave while the legal process played out, and he pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless assault for injuring his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch.

The two sides still could reach a settlement before Henderson renders a decision.

If Peterson is granted reinstatement, it’s unlikely he’ll play this season. The Vikings are 5-7 and took heat for initially reinstating him to the roster in September.

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