The lengthy battle to return to the football field has taken its toll on suspended Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
Friday afternoon arbitrator Harold Henderson dealt another blow to Peterson's attempt to return to the field when he upheld the NFL's season-ending suspension on the 2012 MVP.
The league suspended Peterson after he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault, stemming from child abuse charges levied against him in September.
While the NFL Players Association is looking at its legal options, following the decision, Peterson continues to remain on the shelf. He has not played in a game since week one and his future with the Vikings or even in the NFL could be equally as uncertain.
ESPN's Ben Goessling reports that as the process has dragged on Peterson has even considered retiring from the NFL.
According to Goessling, Peterson considered taking a run at the Olympics.
"I love playing football, don't get me wrong, but this situation is deeper than that," said Peterson to ESPN. "For me, it's like, 'Why should I continue to be part of an organization or a business that handles players the way they do? Making money off the field anyway, why not continue to pursue that (Olympic) dream and pursue other dreams and hang up the cleats?"
But according to Yahoo! Sports, Peterson losing the appeal actually might make it more likely he returns to the Vikings in 2015.
"If the running back had decided he wanted out – and that's still up in the air – having to wait until the midway point of the offseason allows teams to fulfill their needs at his position. It also allows them to take a longer look at Peterson without worry that another franchise will swoop in and steal him. And the kicker – it leaves a cliffhanger of sorts, since nobody knows if the league will reinstate Peterson in April."
But not everyone agrees. 1500 ESPN's Judd Zuglad writes that Peterson returning to the Vikings is a long shot at best.