Adrian Peterson is arguably the best running back in the NFL today, and will likely go down as one of the greatest in NFL history. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to use his considerable talents to help the Minnesota Vikings this year. Peterson was accused of child abuse for allegedly beating his son with a belt. While the case was pending Peterson was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, a move that most didn’t even know was possible. But now that Peterson’s case has been settled, many have wondered if or when Peterson would make his return to the field. Vikings players had given the impression that he would be welcomed back while the belief was that the Vikings organization was unsure whether or not they wanted him, and the possible backlash that could come with it.
After taking longer than many expected, the NFL finally came to a decision, announcing that Peterson would be suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2014 season. The NFL released a statement on November 18 with Commissioner Roger Goodell outlining what he expected from Peterson:
“The timing of your potential reinstatement will be based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in this decision. Under this two-step approach, the precise length of the suspension will depend on your actions. We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement. You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.”
This decision obviously angered Peterson as well as the NFL Player’s Association and executive director DeMaurice Smith said that ‘litigation was inevitable’ according to Pro Football Talk:
“Appearing on Tuesday’s PFT Live, Smith said “litigation is inevitable” regarding Peterson. It could come in the form of an effort to force the NFL to allow Peterson to play while the appeal of his suspension is pending. If Peterson were suspended under the substance abuse policy or the PED policy, he’d be permitted to play while his internal appeal rights are exhausted; why shouldn’t he play while the appeal of his punishment for off-field conduct proceeds?”
This is a fight that will continue as Peterson wants to be back on the field, and feels as if he has a right to be after being placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. No one knows how this will play out in the end, but for the time being it looks as if Peterson has played his last down this season.