The Minnesota Vikings will rely on their depth chart in the hopes of surviving the sudden deactivation of running back Adrian Peterson.
To begin, the Sports Grid is reporting that Peterson will have to surrender himself; he was indicted today for reckless or negligent injury to a child in North Montgomery County, Texas, according to reports by FOX 26 in Houston and other media outlets. Peterson caused injury by repeatedly hitting his 4-year-old son with a tree branch — which Peterson continuously called a switch — in May, according to a very graphic report from CBS Houston. With Peterson’s deactivation, the depth chart now comes into play.
The Vikings released the following statement about the situation.
“The Vikings are in the process of gathering information regarding the legal situation involving Adrian Peterson. At this time, we will defer further questions to Adrian’s attorney Rusty Hardin.”
Hardin, who famously represented Roger Clemens when Clemens was charged with lying to Congress about using steroids, issued his own statement to media outlets.
“Adrian Peterson has been informed that he was indicted by a grand jury in Montgomery County, Texas for Injury to a Child. The charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son. This indictment follows Adrian’s full cooperation with authorities who have been looking into this matter. 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. Adrian has never hidden from what happened. He has cooperated fully with authorities and voluntarily testified before the grand jury for several hours. Adrian will address the charges with the same respect and responsiveness he has brought to this inquiry from its beginning. It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”
Who is replacing Peterson during this indefinite deactivation? The Boston Herald reports the Vikings have two running backs already on the depth chart. The first is Utah University product Matt Asiata, a 5-year veteran. Asiata scored three touchdowns playing for Peterson in garbage time during the Vikings 34-6 drubbing of the St. Louis Rams in week one. The second choice is third string running back Jerick McKinnon, a rookie running back from Georgia Southern. The two backs combined for 186 rushing yards against the Rams.
Peterson, meanwhile, was looking forward to meeting a Patriots defense that allowed Knowshawn Mareno and Lamar Miller 193 yards rushing in the Dolphins’ 36-16 surprise victory over the Patriots.
The Peterson-less Viking head into New England to face the winless Patriots, riding the depth chart. Peterson will most likely be at home, watching on television.
[Image courtesy of Number Fire]