Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson declined to say Friday why he was away from the team a day earlier, as speculation swirled that the reason he was in Sioux Falls, S.D., Thursday was to be with a critically injured son, the victim of an assault.
The Pioneer Press' Sean Jensen reported that Adrian Peterson's father, Nelson Peterson, confirmed that the 2-year-old was the Vikings star's son. Nelson Peterson confirmed the same information to the Star Tribune.
Nelson Peterson said the boy is not Adrian Jr., the boy who has been seen around Vikings facilities.
"All I can say is, we are asking for prayers and for respect for our family as we deal with this tragic situation," Nelson Peterson told the Pioneer Press.
But Peterson himself at a media conference Friday after practice would not discuss it at all. He told reporters it was a private matter and asked for the media to respect that. He added that he appreciates all the support he has received.
Peterson vowed to play Sunday against Carolina at noon at the Metrodome. "I'm able to release a lot of stress through sports," Peterson said.
A Sioux Falls police spokesman would not confirm the identities of the biological parents of the boy who was attacked.
A man is being held on $750,000 bond in Sioux Falls on Friday in that attack on a 2-year-old boy who is the son of a woman the man had been dating, the Argus Leader reports. Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, of Sioux Falls, is charged in Lincoln County with aggravated assault and aggravated battery on an infant, the newspaper reports.
Police say Patterson was home alone with the boy on Wednesday during the time of the assault. The boy remained in critical condition Friday afternoon. There's more about Patterson and his criminal history in the Argus Leader.