NFL's Vikings reinstate Peterson after child abuse charge

Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:25pm EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) - Adrian Peterson, a marquee National Football League running back facing charges of child abuse for injuries he caused when disciplining his son, was reinstated by the Minnesota Vikings on Monday.

Peterson was held out of the Vikings' game on Sunday, a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots, following his indictment last week in Texas for negligent injury to his 4-year-old son, the latest domestic violence case to rock the NFL.

"Based on the extensive information we have right now, and what we know about Adrian not only as a person but what he has also done for this community, we believe he deserves to play while the legal process plays out," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told a news conference.

"At the same time, we must defer to the legal system to determine whether he went too far. But we cannot make that judgment."

Peterson, who was the NFL's most valuable player in 2012, is accused of injuring his son last May by hitting him with a tree branch as punishment. If convicted, Peterson, 29, could be sentenced to up to two years in prison and fined $10,000.

"I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen," Peterson said in a statement. "I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child.

"I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate."

In response to Peterson's return to the team, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: "As in any case involving charges of this nature, the matter is under review."   Continued...

Dec 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) talks on the sidelines during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports