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Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson reinstated by NFL

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson takes the

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson takes the field against the Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome. (Dec. 1, 2013) Credit: Getty

The NFL announced Thursday that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who pleaded no contest in November to child abuse charges, will be reinstated Friday by commissioner Roger Goodell.

The three-time All-Pro played only one game last year after being indicted in Texas for beating his 4-year-old son with a small tree branch.

Goodell suspended Peterson on Nov. 18 for the final six games of the season. He had been placed on the commissioner's exempt list after his indictment in September. Peterson successfully appealed his suspension, but the league returned him to the exempt list.

In a statement, the NFL said: "Adrian Peterson was advised [yesterday] that effective [Friday], he is reinstated as an active NFL player and may participate in all scheduled activities with the Vikings."

Peterson met recently with Goodell and was told he is "expected to fulfill his remaining obligations to the authorities in Minnesota and Texas, as well as the additional commitments Peterson made during his April 7 meeting with the commissioner regarding maintaining an ongoing program of counseling and treatment as recommended by medical advisers."

According to the NFL's statement, Peterson "was reminded that his continuing participation in the NFL depends on his avoidance of any further conduct that violates the personal conduct policy or other NFL policies. Any further violations . . . could include suspension without pay or banishment from the NFL."

In a brief statement, the Vikings said they look forward to having Peterson rejoin them. The team repeatedly has said it wants him back, but his agent, Ben Dogra, has said it would be better if he resumed his career with a new team. The Cardinals and Cowboys are the most frequently mentioned potential trade partners if the Vikings decide to move on.

The Vikings will begin their offseason conditioning program Monday, but it is uncertain whether Peterson will rejoin his teammates or remain away from the club until a trade can be worked out.

Peterson, 30, has three years left on his contract and is due $12.75 million in salary this season. He told ESPN in February that he thought the Vikings' move, in collaboration with the league, to have him placed on the commissioner's exempt list was an "ambush" and that he was uneasy about returning to them.

"It shows you can have all the loyalty toward someone and toward an organization, a fan base, but when things really shift and it's you or the empire, they're going to put you out on a leash," he said.

Two weeks earlier, however, Peterson said "of course" he'd like to return to the Vikings.

New York Sports