On Sunday, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported the Minnesota Vikings "do not foresee" a scenario in which running back Adrian Peterson plays for them again. On Monday, the story evolved with a report from Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, whose sources say Peterson hopes to play for the Vikings again this season.
"Per a source with knowledge of the situation, an effort will be made to accelerated the trial date, with the goal of getting it set for 2014. The broader goal will be to resolve the charges in time for Peterson to return to action for the Vikings this year."
Rusty Hardin, Peterson's attorney, said last week that Peterson's trial to resolve child-abuse charges wouldn't begin until next year. Until the charges are resolved, Peterson will remain away from the Vikings on a special exempt/commissioner's permission list.
"Several league sources say Adrian Peterson has not come to grips with the fact that his 2014 has all but officially ended," Mortensen said on Sunday. "His goal to break Emmitt Smith's all-time rushing record is now a fading dream. And his future is in doubt after being indicted for these child abuse charges related to inflicting injuries on his four-year old son."
Florio adds that even if Peterson is acquitted of the charges, he would still need to dodge a suspension from the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Mortensen believes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will hand down a severe penalty on Peterson regardless of the outcome of his trial.
Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, in the video below, says a source in the Vikings organization and a source close to Peterson believe he'll return to the team before the season is over.
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Peterson will be arraigned Oct. 8 in a Montgomery County, Texas, court. He faces up to two years in a prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted, according to NFL.com.
Peterson maintains that he "never intended" to harm his 4-year-old son when he disciplined him with a thin tree branch, which he referred to as a "switch."
Vikings running game struggles
Without Peterson in the backfield, the Vikings managed just 59 yards on 22 carries in their 20-9 loss to the Saints on Sunday. According to the Pioneer Press, Peterson's backup, Matt Asiata, said the team can't use Peterson's absence as an "excuse."
Asiata was Minnesota's leading rusher in the game, finishing with a mediocre 35 yards.