Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) looks on during pre game before a game against the Houston Texans at the Metrodome.(Photo: Jesse Johnson, USA TODAY Sports)
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is active for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, two days after a 2-year-old son of Peterson died in a Sioux Falls, S.D., hospital - the victim of alleged abuse by a man who was dating the boy's mother.
Peterson pledged Friday to play in the game, before his son's death was known. He was at the team's walkthrough and meetings as usual Saturday, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The reigning NFL MVP declined Friday to get into details about the case. He later posted a statement on his Twitter account after news of the child's death.
Peterson explained his rationale for playing today in a message to FOXSports' Laura Okmin.
Police arrested Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, who was initially charged with aggravated assault and aggravated assault on an infant. Sioux Falls police said additional charges are being considered.
Patterson has a prior domestic abuse record with a different woman and child, having pleaded guilty to simple assault in an incident last year involving an adult female and juvenile male.
Sioux Falls police said Patterson recently started a relationship with the mother of the 2-year-old victim. Patterson appeared in court Friday morning in Canton, S.D. His bond had been set at $750,000 in cash before the boy's death.