Minnesota Vikings Reverse Course, Suspend Adrian Peterson

Fans, sponsors criticized team's handling of player facing legal issues.

ByABC News
September 17, 2014, 2:27 AM

— -- The Minnesota Vikings have reversed course on the handling of running back Adrian Peterson, placing him on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list -- meaning he is suspended indefinitely from all team activities amid the running back’s child-abuse case.

Peterson was indicted last week in Montgomery County, Texas, on a count of reckless or negligent injury to a child, after he reportedly used a switch, or a tree branch, to spank his son.

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After Peterson sat out Sunday’s game, the Vikings decided to reinstate him, a decision that drew sharp criticism. The Radisson hotel chain suspended its partnership with the club because of the reinstatement of Peterson.

The team’s decision will allow Peterson to “take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved,” according to a statement from Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf.

“After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian,” the statement read.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson warms up for an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams in St. Louis, in this Sept. 7, 2014 file photo.

Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, told the Associated Press that he supported the Vikings' decision.

"This is the best possible outcome given the circumstances," Dogra said. "Adrian understands the gravity of the situation and this enables him to take care of his personal situation. We fully support Adrian and he looks forward to watching his teammates and coaches being successful during his absence."

After the team's decision was announced, Peterson posted an inspirational message on Twitter.

Off-field issues involving Peterson and running back Ray Rice have overshadowed the start of the NFL season. The NFL Players Association is appealing the suspension of Rice, a former Baltimore Ravens running back, after new video emerged showing a February domestic violence incident involving Rice and his then-fiancee.

Anheuser-Busch, the NFL’s official beer sponsor, issued a statement Tuesday expressing disappointment in recent league controversy.

“We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season,” Anheuser-Busch wrote in its statement. “We are not yet satisfied with the league's handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league.”

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