Many details remain unknown and unconfirmed regarding the situation that prompted Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to miss practice on Thursday.
We’ve reported that he is dealing with a “tragic” personal situation. A source close to Peterson has declined to disclose any details, explaining that Peterson will address the situation at the appropriate time. According to Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Peterson has returned to the team facility.
It’s possible Peterson will speak to the media or release a statement later today, regarding the situation and/or his plans for the upcoming weekend, when the Vikings host the Panthers.
Though there’s always a presumption that football players — especially the great ones — will play, we hope Peterson and the team have a frank conversation about whether, in light of whatever he is dealing with, it’s in his best interests to play.
If the league’s teams learned anything from the 49ers’ decision to rush linebacker Aldon Smith to the field two days after he was arrested for DUI and while he was coming to grips with the intensely personal decision to submit to an in-patient rehab facility, it’s that the team and the player need to tap the brakes and explore whether playing is the right thing to do under the circumstances.
Again, we still don’t know what the specific circumstances are. TMZ has reported that Peterson’s two-year-old son is in critical condition, and that a man has been charged with severely beating the boy. Until those facts are confirmed, they should not be regarded as 100 percent true.