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Adrian Peterson To Be Reinstated By NFL

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (center) is seen following a court appearance last year in Conroe, Texas.
David J. Phillip
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (center) is seen following a court appearance last year in Conroe, Texas.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The NFL has announced that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will be reinstated Friday as "an active NFL player and may participate in all scheduled activities with the Vikings."

The league suspended Peterson in November for the rest of the 2014 season after he pleaded no contest in a child abuse case. He was accused of using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son.

Peterson had been indicted that September. The same month, the Vikings briefly benched him, then decided he could play with the team while the legal process played out, but finally banned him from all team activities.

Peterson's plea allowed him to avoid jail time.

"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," Peterson previously said of the incident. "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."

The NFL said Thursday that as part of his reinstatement, Peterson must maintain an "ongoing program of counseling and treatment as recommended by medical advisors," and comply with his court obligations. The league's statement added:

"... his continuing participation in the NFL depends on his avoidance of any further conduct that violates the Personal Conduct Policy or other NFL policies. Any further violation of the Personal Conduct Policy by Peterson would result in additional discipline, which could include suspension without pay or banishment from the NFL."

In response to the news, the Vikings released this brief statement on the team's website:

"The Minnesota Vikings have been informed by the NFL that Adrian Peterson has been reinstated. We look forward to Adrian re-joining the Vikings."

USA Today says that despite the abuse case, Peterson is a key player for the Vikings and is expected to make nearly $13 million this year:

"He has been the face of the franchise almost from the day he was selected. The seventh overall pick of the 2007 draft, Peterson is Minnesota's all-time rushing leader with 10,190 yards. His status as one of the league's transcendent talents was cemented when he rushed for 2,097 yards in his 2012 MVP campaign despite suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the final weeks of the 2011 season.

"However last year represented a tremendous fall from grace for Peterson, one of several players who sullied the league's reputation amid domestic violence issues."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sam worked at Vermont Public Radio from October 1978 to September 2017 in various capacities – almost always involving audio engineering. He excels at sound engineering for live performances.
Sam Sanders
Sam Sanders is a correspondent and host of It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders at NPR. In the show, Sanders engages with journalists, actors, musicians, and listeners to gain the kind of understanding about news and popular culture that can only be reached through conversation. The podcast releases two episodes each week: a "deep dive" interview on Tuesdays, as well as a Friday wrap of the week's news.