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)
Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson was at the team's walk through and in meetings as usual Saturday, staying on track to play in Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation after the 2-year-old son of Peterson died on Friday in a Sioux Falls, S.D., hospital - the victim of alleged abuse by a man who was dating the boy's mother.
Peterson, the reigning NFL MVP, said Friday he intended to play against the Panthers but declined to get into details about the case. He later posted a statement on his Twitter account after news of the child's death.
"Thank you to my family, my fans and fans of other teams for their support. The NFL is a fraternity of brothers and I am thankful for the tweets, phone calls and text messages from my fellow players. God Bless everyone and thank u so much," Peterson wrote in three tweets.
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.