The Minnesota Vikings have announced that running back Adrian Peterson will fully participate in practice this week and is expected to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Peterson was deactivated by the team last week in the wake of an indictment for reckless or negligent injury of a child.
Peterson turned himself into law enforcement officers in Montgomery County, Texas last week for allegedly striking his 4-year-old son with a tree branch. He was released from jail last Saturday after posting a $15,000 bail.
Team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf released the following statement:
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.
Peterson has already testified in front of a grand jury. Montgomery County first assistant district attorney Phil Grant told ESPN that Peterson will likely make a court appearance in the next few weeks, but it could be several months before the case goes to trial.
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Peterson was charged with one count of injury to a child, which carries a maximum punishment of two years in state jail and a $10,000 fine. Probation is an option for first-time defendants, however.