Adrian Peterson said he plans to suit up for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday despite the severe beating that left his 2-year-old son in critical condition.
Police say the boy was beaten by his mother’s boyfriend in South Dakota, sending the toddler to the hospital with severe injuries.
Despite the family emergency, Peterson told the press on Friday that he plans to be on the field, where he can release his stress.
“I really appreciate all the support from fans and the Vikings. I ask y’all respect my privacy,” Peterson said.
After learning of the incident, Adrian Peterson traveled to South Dakota to see his son and monitor the situation. He returned to the Vikings on Friday morning in time for the team’s practice.
Police arrested 27-year-old Robert Joseph Patterson in connection with the beating, charging him with aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault. He could face a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted.
Patterson has a history of violent crime including domestic violence, the Argus Leader reported.
Police said Patterson called 911 on Wednesday to report that the 2-year-old was choking, but authorities found the toddler in critical condition when they arrived. Doctors determined that the injuries were “consistent with abuse.”
Adrian Peterson says he will play Sunday and appreciates all the support he has received from fans.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 11, 2013
The Minnesota Vikings will likely need Adrian Peterson this weekend. The team, which sits at 1-3, is in dire need of a win to remain in contention in the NFC North. They host the Carolina Panthers, who rank No. 3 in the league in rushing defense.