The 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is dead after he was allegedly abused by a South Dakota man who has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery of an infant. The five-time Pro Bowl running back left practice on Thursday to travel to South Dakota where his son was hospitalized.
Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, is currently in police custody and had a court appearance on Friday morning where a $750,000 cash bond was issued. Peterson said on Friday that he expects to play for the Vikings on Sunday and requested that his privacy be respected.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Johnthan Banks reportedly became the third player on the team to contract MRSA, as the team confirmed earlier in the day that another player had contracted the infection. A second-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Banks had recently earned a starting role with the team, but still might play in Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, despite the diagnosis.
Sander Philipse of Bucs Nation doesn't expect that Banks will play, though:
The cornerback has been infected with MRSA but it was caught early, which means it should be easier to eradicate. Still, it seems unlikely that he'd play just four days after being diagnosed with MRSA.
Mark Dominik noted in today's press conference that the Buccaneers would not be the arbiters of whether or not a player would be allowed to return to play. The player himself would have to feel ready, of course, but he would also have to be medically signed off by "discussion panels" that include the NFLPA and NFL.
Also unlikely is the cancellation of Sunday's game, although the NFLPA is reportedly looking in to the possibility of advising that the game isn't played.
New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. will sit out the next month after he was issued a four-game suspension from the NFL for violation of the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. Winslow didn't practice this week and was listed as doubtful for Sunday's game with a knee injury, so the suspension won't have much impact on the team this week. But, he's a tough loss for Geno Smith, as his 17 receptions and two touchdowns were team bests through five games.
Winslow has never received a suspension for PEDs before and said in a statement on Friday that the four-game punishment "came as a huge surprise."
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, but "serious concern" about the slow recovery of his forearm from offseason surgery have slimmed the likelihood that he makes his 2013 debut.
An infection that was contracted after his forearm surgery has reportedly weakened the bone and surrounding nerves in his arm and may cause for a continued leave of absence for the two-time Pro Bowl tight end. In his first three seasons in the NFL, Gronkowski accumulated 2,663 yards receiving and 38 touchdowns.