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Adrian Peterson will play Sunday, asks for privacy with alleged incident involving son

Adrian PetersonMinnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said on Friday that he fully expects to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Peterson has been dealing with what sounds like a family tragedy over the past couple of days, as his 2-year-old son was reportedly beaten by the boyfriend of the child’s mother and is in critical condition.

“I really appreciate all the support from fans and the Vikings,” Peterson said after Friday’s practice, per Sean Jensen of the Pioneer Press. “I ask y’all respect my privacy.”

When asked about his status for Sunday, Peterson said he will “without a doubt” be playing and added that he will be “focused” and “ready to roll.”

“I’m able to release a lot of stress through sports,” he said.

One of Peterson’s sons, 2-year-old Adrian Jr., has become a popular face around the Vikings’ facility during training camp. A number of photos have been taken of the two goofing around at practice, and it was initially believed that Adrian Jr. was the victim. It was later reported that the son who is in critical condition is not Adrian Jr., which led to speculation that Peterson is not related to the boy.

However, Peterson’s father Nelson Peterson confirmed in a phone interview with the Pioneer Press that the injured boy is indeed his grandson.

“All I can say is, we are asking for prayers and for respect for our family as we deal with this tragic situation,” Nelson Peterson said.

It is possible that the victim is a son of Peterson’s that the public was unaware he had.

The turn of events is a disturbing tragedy no matter what Peterson’s relationship is to the boy. To think that a grown man could do something like that to an innocent child is truly sickening.

Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old son reportedly in critical condition after being beaten

Adrian-Peterson-Wants-to-Play-for-Fantasy-OwnersUPDATE: Police have confirmed that Peterson’s son has died. What an unspeakable tragedy.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old son is reportedly in critical condition at a South Dakota hospital after he was allegedly beaten. According to the Argus Leader, police have arrested 27-year-old Joseph Robert Patterson and charged him with aggravated assault and aggravated battery of an infant. Patterson is said to be dating the mother of Peterson’s son.

Initial reports only specified that Patterson was arrested for his alleged abuse of a 2-year-old infant. TMZ later reported that the boy who suffered the injuries is Peterson’s son.

Sioux Falls Police Lt. Blaine Larsen said that Patterson was the only one home with the boy on Wednesday when the incident took place. Patterson reportedly called the police at 5:34 p.m. to report that the child had choking injuries. The infant was taken to a hospital by ambulance, and police later determined that the injuries were “consistent with abuse” and not accidental. Law enforcement officials reportedly told TMZ that the child suffered severe head injuries.

“Sometimes, it ends up there was a crime that took place. Sometimes not,” police spokesman Sam Clemens said on Thursday. “(We’re) just trying to talk to people that are involved. Just trying to figure out what happened; that’s the big part, I guess.”

Peterson’s son was reportedly living in Sioux Falls with the boy’s mother and Patterson.

This story legitimately makes me sick to my stomach. Our thoughts are with Peterson and his family during this inexplicably difficult time.

UPDATE (11:35 a.m.): Pro Football Talk reported that Peterson returned to the Vikings’ team facility on Friday morning after dealing with a situation sources described as “tragic.” City Pages has cited sources claiming the Sioux Falls boy who was beaten is not Peterson’s son. We should know more later today when AP speaks to the media.

UPDATE (12:07 p.m.): Citing a source close to Peterson, Pro Football Talk has reported that the injured child is indeed Peterson’s son. Sean Jensen of the Pioneer Press says Peterson’s father confirmed the victim was one of Adrian’s sons, though it was not Adrian Jr, whose photo was shown on a previous version of this post.

UPDATE (2:30PM): Peterson says he will play Sunday and has asked that the media respect his family’s privacy during this time.

Photo: SI’s Andy Gray

Cleveland DT Phil Taylor calls out Adrian Peterson for tweet about losing to Browns

After the Minnesota Vikings were shocked by the Cleveland Browns and backup quarterback Brian Hoyer in Minneapolis on Sunday, Adrian Peterson sent out a pretty humorous tweet.

Adrian-Peterson-Wants-to-Play-for-Fantasy-OwnersBrowns nose tackle Phil Taylor did not find it funny. The former Baylor star was proud of the job his defense did in keeping Peterson in check. AP was held to just 88 yards on 25 carries, which works out to 3.5 yards per carry. That’s nothing special for a guy who fell just barely short of breaking the NFL’s single-season rushing record last year.

“We knew playing against the Vikings would be a good test for us, having Adrian Peterson,” Taylor told reporters on Monday, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “We showed what type of defense we’re about. But obviously we still don’t get the respect that we deserve, so we have to keep going out there and doing what we’ve got to do.

“He can say what he wants, but he wasn’t a factor in the game. He had less than 100 yards. The only reason they really scored, they got the ball on the 9, they got the ball on the 26, other than that, it wasn’t really a big game [for their offense].”

You can’t blame Taylor for being upset. Peterson’s tweet was funny because it shows that even his little girl thought the Browns stood no chance against Minnesota. After Cleveland dealt Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, most people believed the Browns were going to tank the season for a top draft pick. That may be the front office’s plan, but the players don’t intend to make it that simple.

Adrian Peterson: I feel I will break Eric Dickerson’s record this year

Adrian-Peterson-Wants-to-Play-for-Fantasy-OwnersMinnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is not shy about expressing his desire to break Eric Dickerson’s NFL single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards. While AP was pleased that he helped his team reach that playoffs last season, he openly admits falling just nine yards short of the record stung.

“I look back on that play and there’s so many things after the case,” Peterson told ESPN’s Bob Holtzman for the SportsCenter Sunday Conversation. “I’m like, ‘Man, maybe I should have cut inside or if I would have broke one more tackle I got have gotten that record.’ It was there to take. It just wasn’t meant to happen, so I’m comfortable with that.”

Peterson then once again reiterated that he is confident he will break Dickerson’s record, possibly this season.

“I feel like I will definitely break it,” he said. “I’m going after it this year. It’s not my main focus. I put a lot of work in during the offseason. One thing I tell myself is that when I’m done working out, I want to know that no one around the world outworked me. That’s a comforting feeling. So with that, I feel like records will come.”

After witnessing what Peterson was able to accompish last season following reconstructive knee surgery, anyone would be stupid to doubt him. He rushed for over 2,000 yards while playing with a sports hernia and his doctor claims he should be even stronger in 2013.

Would I bet against it? Certainly not, but part of me feels we have talked about Dickerson’s record so frequently that people lose site of just how difficult it would be to surpass. Peterson is not the only player who feels he can break 2,105 yards. He is, however, the most likely to do it. That being said, my gut instinct says the record is safe.

Adrian Peterson views steroids, HGH chatter as a compliment

Adrian PetersonAdrian Peterson’s incredibly fast recovery from a torn ACL and MCL left people shocked, impressed, amazed, and suspicious. The Minnesota Vikings running back tore two ligaments in late December 2011, yet he returned to play in Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season and proceeded to have one of the best seasons for a running back in league history … while playing through a sports hernia no less.

The reigning NFL MVP said last week that he’s looking forward to HGH testing in the league because he wants officials to catch the cheating players. The irony is that many believe Peterson was using some illegal substance that helped him recover from his major knee injury so quickly and perform so well. Peterson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he views those suspicions as a compliment.

Peterson said in the interview that he’s heard the suspicious folks on Twitter and on the field.

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Chris Johnson: All the things Adrian Peterson has done, I did them first

Chris-Johnson-TitansAdrian Peterson has been one of the best running backs in the NFL since the Minnesota Vikings drafted him in 2007. When all is said and done, he could go down as one of the greatest of all time.

Chris Johnson has also been one of the better rushers in the league, but he has declined quite a bit since he rushed for 2,006 yards in 2009 — his second season with the Tennessee Titans. Most people would tell you that Peterson is a better player if for no other reason than work ethic. He rushed for over 2,000 yards last year coming off reconstructive knee surgery, but Johnson wants to remind everyone that he was “CJ2K” before that happened.

“I did it first,” Johnson told Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com. “Not one time did I sit back and say he did something that I can’t do. I did it first. He’s a great back. But I can’t sit here and say out of my own mouth that Adrian Peterson is better than me. All the things he’s done, I’ve done the same things. I did them first.”

When Johnson has room to run, no one is better. He’s arguably the fastest back in the league, but he’s not going to lower his shoulder and run through anyone. Peterson makes his own room by not shying away from contact. Johnson tends to quit if his offensive line isn’t at the top of its game.

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Adrian Peterson is certain there are players in NFL are using HGH

Adrian-Peterson-Wants-to-Play-for-Fantasy-OwnersThe NFL and NFL Players Association are getting close to reaching an agreement that would implement testing for human growth hormone. While the progress is probably making some players nervous, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson says he can’t wait for the increased testing.

Peterson’s return to form last year after suffering a torn ACL at the end of the 2011 season was nothing short of incredible. The level he played at after the injury almost defied science, which is why some have speculated that he used performance-enhancing drugs to recover so quickly. According to ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert, Peterson wants HGH testing to help put that chatter to rest.

“I don’t worry about those types of supplements, using those, because I’m all natural,” Peterson said Friday at Vikings training camp. “I work hard. This right here, it’s a test for me personally, that I know that, ‘Hey, I’m clean as a whistle,’ and other guys as well. And then, like I say, it’ll bring some guys to the forefront and be like, ‘Hey, I guess this is how this guy’s been performing so well.'”

While he insists he has never used a banned substance, Peterson said he is certain there are players in the league currently using HGH.

“You’ve got HGH, something that doesn’t show up on a test, and you’ve got guys out there trying to provide for their families,” he said. “They’re going to try to get that edge, get that advantage, especially if they’re not worried about trying to get caught. Yeah, it’s being used.”

Contrary to popular belief, steroids aren’t only an issue in baseball. The confidentiality of failed tests in the NFL protects players’ images, which makes it even more tempting. HGH testing should help counter some of that.