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Adrian Peterson will play vs. Panthers on Sunday

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Adrian Peterson announced that he will be playing on Sunday after losing his infant son on Friday.

Bob Martin-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will be playing on Sunday after a family tragedy. Peterson's decision came hours after his two-year-old son was allegedly beaten to death by the mother's boyfriend.

More Vikings news at Daily Norseman

Peterson was excused from practice Thursday and went to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where the child was being held in critical condition. Peterson returned to the team on Friday, and the child was proclaimed dead later that day. Peterson left this message on his Facebook page:

"Thank you to my family, my fans and fans of other teams for their support. The NFL is a fraternity of brothers and I am thankful for the tweets, phone calls and text messages from my fellow players. God Bless everyone and thank u so much."

Peterson told reporters on Friday that he uses football to cope with hard times and will be suiting up for Sunday's game.

The suspect, Joseph Patterson, was dating the mother of Peteron's child at the time of the alleged assault. He is being held on charges of aggravated assault and battery of an infant. Prosecutors are expected to file additional charges in the wake of the child's death. Patterson faces up to 40 years of prison if convicted on all chargers.

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