Vikings' Adrian Peterson reinstated by league
Suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson exits following his hearing against the NFL over his punishment for child abuse, in New York, in this file photo taken December 2, 2014. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files)
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who was suspended by the National Football League for using a tree branch to discipline his son, has been reinstated, the league said on Thursday.
Peterson’s reinstatement is effective on Friday, at which point he will be free to participate in all scheduled activities with the Vikings, the NFL said in a statement.
In a letter from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Peterson was informed that he is expected to fulfill his remaining obligations to the authorities in Minnesota and Texas, as well as the commitments he made during his April 7 meeting with the commissioner.
During his meeting with Goodell, Peterson said he would maintain an ongoing program of counseling and treatment as recommended by medical advisors.
The league also said any further violation of the personal conduct policy by the running back would result in additional discipline, which could include suspension without pay or banishment from the NFL.
Peterson, the 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player, was suspended on Nov. 18 after he pleaded no contest in Texas to a misdemeanor assault charge and was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and perform community service.
The Vikings have said publicly that they would like to have Peterson back with the team but it was unclear whether he would return.
Following his September indictment, Peterson, 30, sat out one game before being reinstated by the Vikings. When team sponsors expressed their anger, Peterson was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, which took him off the field but allowed him to keep his $11.75 million salary.
After Peterson’s no contest plea, the NFL took Peterson off the exempt list and suspended him, saying he would not be considered for reinstatement before April 15.
Peterson was arrested last September on a felony child abuse charge for disciplining his 4-year-old son by repeatedly striking him with a thin tree branch called a switch.
Several sponsors abandoned the Vikings after Peterson was indicted and endorsement deals the six-time Pro Bowler had with apparel maker Nike and others was abruptly dropped after his plea deal was announced.
Blessed with a rare combination of speed and power, Peterson has rushed for 10,190 yards over his eight-year NFL and has scored 91 touchdowns.
He admitted striking his son with the switch but insisted that he loves his son and was only administering the form of punishment he himself received as a child growing up in Texas.