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Adrian Peterson Expected to Play in Week 3 vs. Saints

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2014

USA Today

Updates from Wednesday, Sept. 17

Veteran NFL reporter Sean Jensen and FOX Sports' Jay Glazer have the latest on Peterson's status:

Sean Jensen @seankjensen

The #Vikings statement in its entirety on placing Adrian Peterson on “Exempt/ Commissioner’s Permission list…” http://t.co/byFI31roMs

Jay Glazer @JayGlazer

Vikings have placed Adrian Peterson on Commissioner's exempt list, meaning he's shelved until further notice

Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 16

Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman provides an update on Adrian Peterson's Week 3 playing status:

mike freeman @mikefreemanNFL

A number of team sources across football believe the Vikings are wavering on playing Adrian Peterson this weekend. We'll see.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio echoed a similar sentiment: 

ProFootballTalk @ProFootballTalk

Don't be surprised if Vikings reverse course on letting Adrian Peterson play this Sunday. Hearing that Monday's decision could change.

Original Text:

Barring any surprises over the next six days, Adrian Peterson will be back in the Minnesota Vikings lineup for their Week 3 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.

In a statement released Monday morning, Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf indicated the team will allow Peterson to participate in practice all week, with the expectation of him starting Sunday.     

"Today's decision was made after significant thought, discussion and consideration," the statement read. "As evidenced by our decision to deactivate Adrian from yesterday’s game, this is clearly a very important issue."

Peterson, 29, was arrested last week and charged with negligent abuse of his four-year-old son. According to police, the All-Pro running back used a switch, which is a small wooden stick, to spank his son, causing numerous lacerations and injuries.

Peterson addressed the situation in a statement released on Monday which read in part (via Adam Schefter of ESPN):

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I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.

I have learned a lot and have had to reevaluate how I discipline my son going forward. But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives. I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make.

I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury. No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day.

I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct. Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person.

As a result of the indictment, the Vikings deactivated Peterson for Sunday's 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots. Matt Asiata rushed for 36 yards on 13 carries in his absence, also catching five balls for 48 yards and Minnesota's only touchdown.

Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

Though Peterson was not with the team in Minneapolis, he was not suspended and will still receive his Week 2 salary. Zygi Wilf held a conference call Sunday night with head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman to assess their options moving forward, per Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post.

Spielman later discussed Peterson on Monday (via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Ben Goessling of ESPN and Jeff Darlington of NFL.com):

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Spielman says they’ll let the court make a decision on whether Adrian Peterson went too far. Also says they are serious about the issue.

Ben Goessling @GoesslingStrib

Spielman: "We feel very strongly as an organization that this is disciplining a child."

Jeff Darlington @JeffDarlington

Spielman: "The photos are disturbing, but to be clear... it is right for him to go through the process legally."

Spielman also spoke on the decision to deactivate him for Sunday's game (via Rapoport and Darlington):

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Vikings GM Rick Spielman: “We didn’t know where we were at Friday. We wanted to take the weekend to take a step back.”

Jeff Darlington @JeffDarlington

Spielman: "It has nothing to do with him as a football player."

Head coach Mike Zimmer also commented on the decision to leave Peterson out (via NFL Around the League):

Around The NFL @AroundTheNFL

Zimmer on Peterson: “It was an ownership decision.” Admitted he didn’t know how much his opinion mattered.

In reinstating Peterson, the Wilf family indicated they would use the legal process to guide how the matter is handled down the road:

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.

The NFL is expected to follow a similar path. Hubbuch's report said the NFL will only penalize Peterson if he's convicted or pleads guilty to a lesser charge. If found guilty, Peterson could face up to two years in jail.

Jason Cole @JasonCole62

#Vikings use the "due process" argument in reinstating Peterson. That's pretty faulty logic.

Jason Cole @JasonCole62

To be clear, I don't necessarily have a prob w/ team (#Vikings in AP case) playing someone. I just don't like "due process" justification

"Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in East Texas," Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, told reporters Friday.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported on what Peterson told the Vikings about the incident:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

I’m told Adrian Peterson explained to the #Vikings what happened in his view. He didn’t deny what he described as disciplining his son

A six-time Pro Bowler, Peterson was booked in Montgomery County jail and released on $15,000 bail Saturday. Peterson has largely maintained silence since news of the charges broke, posting only a Bible verse on his Twitter account Sunday afternoon:

Adrian Peterson @AdrianPeterson

http://t.co/MWx2msqj9d

It's unclear what course of action the Vikings will take if court proceedings uncover more information. Hubbuch raised the possibility of a trade, though he acknowledged it was a "long shot."

Peterson has the highest cap hit for a running back at $14.4 million, nearly $5 million more than the second-highest, Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy. Finding a taker for Peterson's salary given the league's running back climate and the possibility of public criticism would be very unlikely.

Peterson rushed for 75 yards on 21 carries in Week 1. He'll be a big part of Minnesota's game plan Sunday against a Saints defense that has conceded 63 points against the Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns en route to an 0-2 start.

The Vikings' decision to activate Peterson will undoubtedly be a cause of debate throughout the week. For now, though, the Vikings seem to be sticking with their star as the legal process plays out.

Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter

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