Adrian Peterson plays just two days after learning of son’s death

Adrian Peterson Vikings son Mike Mitchell Panthers
Adrian Peterson is embraced by Carolina’s Mike Mitchell after Sunday’s game. Credit: Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson played Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, just two days after learning his 2-year-old son died in South Dakota of injuries suffered from alleged abused.

Peterson was embraced by teammates and members of the Panthers before and after the game. He rushed for 62 yards on 10 carries in a 35-10 Vikings loss.

Sioux Falls police spokesman Sam Clemens said Peterson’s son died after suffering head injuries last week, adding that doctors at the hospital where the child was taken said they believed the injuries were caused by child abuse.

South Dakota officials said earlier on Friday that a 27-year-old man had been charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault on accusations of abusing a 2-year-old boy, who was not identified at the time.


Clemens said the man, Joseph Patterson, will face additional charges. Patterson is being held on a $750,000 cash bond, according to police.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper reported on Friday that Nelson Peterson, Adrian’s father, confirmed that the running back’s son was assaulted, allegedly by a friend of the boy’s mother. The paper reported that the child and his mother were living in Sioux Falls at the time of the assault, according to Nelson Peterson.

Peterson explained his decision to play to FOX Sports, via text.

“My brother passed the night before the combine and I decided to go through with it. The same reason why I will play this week. You may ask why? God wants good to come from it,” Peterson said. “We mourn and grieve but heaven had the baddest welcoming party for my son. That knowledge gives me peace. I’m still hurt and feel the pain of life, but I’m able to function because of the peace and joy of knowing my loved ones are in a much better place.”

Material from Reuters was used in this report.



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