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NFL reinstates Vikings running back Adrian Peterson

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Adrian Peterson's fight with the National Football League is over. The NFL on Thursday reinstated Peterson, who missed 15 games last season after he was charged with abusing his 4-year-old son with a switch in Texas.

A statement from the NFL notes that Peterson will not be effectively reinstated until Friday and mandates that he continue following guidelines set forth by authorities in Texas and Minnesota, which includes counseling.

"In a letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell, Peterson was informed that he is expected to fulfill his remaining obligations to the authorities in Minnesota and Texas, as well as the additional commitments Peterson made during his April 7 meeting with the commissioner regarding maintaining an ongoing program of counseling and treatment as recommended by medical advisors.

"Beyond the requirement to comply with his court obligations and plan of counseling, Peterson was reminded that his continuing participation in the NFL depends on his avoidance of any further conduct that violates the Personal Conduct Policy or other NFL policies. Any further violation of the Personal Conduct Policy by Peterson would result in additional discipline, which could include suspension without pay or banishment from the NFL."

The child abuse charge against Peterson, which was later reduced to a misdemeanor, was a violation of the league's Personal Conduct Policy.

What's next for Peterson?

Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, told the Associated Press last month that it isn't in Peterson's best interest to remain a Minnesota Viking. Peterson has not requested a trade and the Vikings maintain that they are excited to welcome him back to the team. He is under contract with the Vikings for the next three seasons.

After learning of Peterson's reinstatement, the team released a brief statement saying, "We look forward to Adrian re-joining the Vikings.

ESPN's Ben Goessling took a look at what that statement from the Vikings really is saying.

"The NFL has informed us of Adrian Peterson's reinstatement, which we have anticipated and now welcome. We are prepared to return to business as usual, once again making a 30-year-old the highest-paid running back in the league. What we are not prepared to do is give Mr. Peterson away for nothing – and likely for less than a handsome sum in a trade. We are confident that, absent a wide array of options, Mr. Peterson will also eventually choose to return to business as usual."

Privately the team's wording to Peterson has been a lot stronger. FOX Sports reports that sources have said the team has made it clear to Peterson's camp that he will "play for (the Vikings) or nobody this year."

According to the report, the team believes that it doesn't owe Peterson an apology for paying him $12 million last year and is offering to pay him the full $13 million he's scheduled to make next season.

When asked by ESPN earlier this week if he planned on joining the Vikings for voluntary workouts beginning April 20, Peterson said he wasn't sure because he hadn't been reinstated at the time.

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