Adrian Peterson will be back on the field when the Minnesota Vikings face the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf released a statement saying Peterson will resume all football activities beginning Monday.
The star running back didn't attend the Vikings' 30-7 home loss to the Patriots on Sunday following a shocking child abuse charge in which Peterson is suspected of harming his 4-year-old son by hitting him with a thin tree branch.
Here's the full statement from the Wilfs, via Vikings.com.
"Today’s decision was made after significant thought, discussion and consideration. As evidenced by our decision to deactivate Adrian from yesterday’s game, this is clearly a very important issue. On Friday, we felt it was in the best interests of the organization to step back, evaluate the situation, and not rush to judgment given the seriousness of this matter. At that time, we made the decision that we felt was best for the Vikings and all parties involved.
"To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child. At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action. This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing. Currently we believe we are at a juncture where the most appropriate next step is to allow the judicial process to move forward.
"We will continue to monitor the situation closely and support Adrian’s fulfillment of his legal responsibilities throughout this process."
The Vikings held an organizational meeting late Sunday to discuss Peterson's future.
“There’s a lot of speculation out there,’’ said General Manager Rick Spielman, who spoke briefly with Monday Morning Quarterback's Peter King before going into the meeting. “Once we gather all the information we can, we’ll be able to make a decision what to do. Right now there’s a lot of speculation, and a million rumors out there. But we’ve made no decision.”
A comment from wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson convinced some that Peterson wouldn't be back on the field for a while.
The New York Post, citing a source close to Vikings' ownership, reported the Vikings will not release Peterson like the Baltimore Ravens did with Ray Rice last week. Rice was cut after a brutal video of him punching his now-wife in a elevator surfaced. The Post adds that Minnesota doesn't expect the NFL to punish Peterson unless he's convicted.
The front page of the New York Daily News today shows one Vikings fan wearing Peterson's jersey and holding a switch.
The NFL hasn't punished Peterson, but covers like the Daily News only adds to the pressure being applied to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who finds himself in hot water for how he handled Rice's domestic abuse case. ABC News reports that banners with the message "Goodell Must Go" flew over three stadiums on Sunday.
Stay tuned for further information.