Adrian Peterson refuted earlier reports that he skipped a disciplinary hearing with the NFL and instead issued a statement on Sunday morning that said he chose not to participate in the hearing due to issues with the fairness of the hearing.
"I will not allow the NFL to impose a new process of discipline on me, ignore the CBA, ignore the deal they agreed to with me, and behave without fairness or accountability," Peterson said in a statement that can be read in full on the NFL Players Association website. "The process they are pushing is arbitrary, inconsistent, and contrary to what they agreed to do, and for those reasons, I never agreed to the hearing.
"I'm sorry for all of this, but I can't excuse their refusal to be fair."
Peterson alleges that a deal struck with the NFL earlier in the season promised immediate removal from the NFL's commissioner exempt list upon the settling of his legal matter in Texas. After pleading no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge, Peterson asked that he be reinstated and allowed to play for the Minnesota Vikings immediately; however, the NFL first wants a team of outside experts to review Peterson's case before Roger Goodell makes a decision about possible punishment for the running back.
Peterson responded in his statement to the NFL's desire for a hearing:
"After consulting with the union, I told the NFL that I will attend the standard meeting with the Commissioner prior to possible imposition of discipline, as has been the long-term practice under the CBA, but I wouldn't participate in a newly created and non-collectively bargained pre-discipline 'hearing' that would include outside people I don't know and who would have roles in the process that the NFL wouldn't disclose."
Even with his refusal to participate in the hearing, Peterson could return to the field soon for the Vikings, as penalties could be decided within a week, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Peterson will not play for the Vikings in Week 11, but the league's review of his case could wrap up before the beginning of Week 12, leaving open the possibility of a return to the field before the end of the 2014 season.
Peterson is the all-time leading rusher for the Vikings with 10,190 yards in 104 career games with the team since he was selected in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl six times and is 14th all-time in rushing touchdowns.