Running back Adrian Peterson will once again be an active member of the Minnesota Vikings roster after officially receiving his reinstatement from the National Football League.
The NFL provided a full release on the news, and the Vikings issued a statement: "The Minnesota Vikings have been informed by the NFL that Adrian Peterson has been reinstated. We look forward to Adrian re-joining the Vikings."
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport provided additional details:
NFL Communications announced last November that Peterson was suspended for the rest of the 2014 season without pay after pleading no contest to reckless assault of his four-year-old son. The release included a statement from commissioner Roger Goodell about the terms of the ban:
The timing of your potential reinstatement will be based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in this decision. Under this two-step approach, the precise length of the suspension will depend on your actions. We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement. You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.
The suspension also came after TMZ Sports (Warning: link contains graphic images) posted pictures of the injuries suffered by Peterson's son after being struck with a "switch," a branch from a tree.
Peterson played in just one game last season before the situation came to light.
He was one of the league's most productive running backs in the seven years prior. He scored at least 10 touchdowns in every season and reached the 1,200-yard mark in all but one. All of those numbers were accumulated with the Vikings.
Although the suspension is now lifted, his future is still uncertain. Jarrett Bell of USA Today provided comments from both Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, and Vikings general manager Rick Spielman about the situation back in March.
Dogra made it clear they were looking for an escape route from the Vikings.
"We want out of Minnesota," he said.
Spielman didn't sound like somebody looking to make a trade, however.
"Adrian's a member of our football team," he said. "He's under contract with us. We are focused on the 2015 season and expect Adrian to be a part of that. Our whole focus is getting ready for that season with Adrian."
His reinstatement will only intensify the apparent disagreement between the sides about the best way to move forward. It seems Peterson would like a fresh start, while Minnesota doesn't want to risk trading a top asset below market value.
The good news for Peterson is one of the major hurdles between himself and a 2015 return is cleared. He must now decide whether to keep pushing for a trade or try to make amends with the Vikings to continue his career with the team that drafted him.
It's a situation sure to receive plenty of attention in the weeks and possibly months ahead.