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NFL's options for Peterson; Hardin: Don't lump him in with Rice

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell needs to act quickly and make a decision to suspend or reinstate Adrian Peterson.

That's what Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk says, and he argues the NFL is in no position to drag its feet because it's unfair to Peterson and the Vikings. Florio says the NFL needs to make its decision within six days, when the Vikings return to work to prepare for their Nov. 16 road game against the Chicago Bears. The Vikings are off this week.

"But if the NFL decides that it should take more time because of the precedent that will be set, then reinstate Peterson and let him play until a decision is reached regarding his suspension. Plenty of players play while suspensions are pending under other policies, including the PED policy. If a guy accused of cheating the game can still play until his status is resolved, why shouldn’t Peterson be allowed to play, too?"

Only Goodell can reinstate Peterson from the exempt/commissioner's permission list Peterson is currently on.

It's possible that Goodell takes a "time served" approach with Peterson. In this case, Sports Illustrated's Michael McCann writes that as long as the NFL imposes a suspension of eight or fewer games, Goodell could decide that Peterson has already been away from the field long enough to warrant proper punishment. Forfeiture of game checks for a reasonable number of weeks could also be a factor.

Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, is begging the public not to put Peterson in the same domestic violence category as Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens running back who punched his now-wife in an elevator. Hardin explained on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" that Peterson being charged was a byproduct of Rice's case.

“On September 4 we were informed a grand jury here had declined to charge him (Peterson) and that it was over,” Hardin said, via Pro Football Talk. “And then the Ray Rice video came out that Monday on TMZ, and that next Thursday, the 11th, we were informed the grand jury was reconsidering his case, and then he was indicted. Part of what’s happened here is lumping these athletes in together. They’re all individuals, they’re all different circumstances. What I’m hoping is the NFL and the public will assess them individually and not lump them together. And if they do that I think Adrian has earned the right to get his chance.”

We'll be watching this story closely to see if/when Peterson will be allowed to rejoin the Vikings.

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