Vikings teammates willing to welcome Adrian Peterson back


While the NFL has not established a timetable for Adrian Peterson to return to the Vikings, it doesn't appear that it will be an issue for Peterson's teammates.

Peterson agreed to a plea bargain on Tuesday, pleading no contest to a Class A misdemeanor of reckless assault. It is a reduced penalty compared to the original felony child abuse charge he was facing in Montgomery County, Texas, for spanking his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch.

The plea agreement was accepted by Judge Kelly Case and brought about the end of his legal situation. Peterson was sentenced to two years of probation, a $4,000 fine and 80 hours of community service.

The Vikings released a simple statement on Peterson's plea bargain, Tuesday night.

For now he remains on the commissioner's exempt list and only NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can remove him. NFL.com's Ian Rapaport says the league will review the case before ruling on Peterson's future, but he could be reinstated at some point before the end of the season.

According to ESPN, if Peterson were to be reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list several prominent Vikings said they would welcome back the former MVP.

"We all know the kind of person he is," said Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph. "We've stood behind him this whole time. You'd be crazy not to welcome him back into that locker room. It would be a big pickup for this locker room being we have so many young guys. Any time you can have a veteran back in that locker room, the leader that he is in the locker room, out on the practice field, would be huge for us."

Peterson's return could certainly help the Vikings, who have won back-to-back games to improve to 4-5.

The Associated Press reports that Vikings general manager Rick Spielman wouldn't comment on Peterson's return "until it's appropriate to speak."

But he did acknowledge that Peterson returning to the backfield would give the team's 29th ranked offense a jolt.

Spielman said that he has been happy with how his tandem of youngsters Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata have handled the increased workload in Peterson's absence. Asiata ran for three touchdowns and a two-point conversion in Minnesota's 29-26 victory over Washington on Sunday.

But Vikings fullback Jerome Felton says Peterson is still one of the best players in the world.

"He's one of our leaders," Fulton said. "He was up here in the offseason. People follow his lead because of how hard he works. So it'd be pretty nice to add that back into the team."

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