All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson was reinstated to the Vikings on Monday, three days after he was indicted on the charge of injury to a child in the alleged disciplining of his 4-year-old son that resulted in cuts and bruises to the child.
Just hours after the Vikings reinstated him, Houston station KHOU-TV reported that Peterson was accused of injuring another son, who was 4 years old at the time, in an incident that occurred in June 2013. According to the report, the child suffered a cut on his forehead after hitting his head on a car seat.
The station reported that the mother of this child -- different from the mother of the child he was indicted on a charge of injuring during the summer -- filed a report with Child Protective Services. No charges have been filed yet, however.
TMZ Sports, however, reported Monday night that Peterson did not strike the boy in the forehead but that the child accidentally hit his head on the car seat.
Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, issued a statement after KHOU aired its story. "The allegation of another investigation into Adrian Peterson is simply not true,'' Hardin said. "The allegation is more than one year old and authorities took no action. An adult witness adamantly insists Adrian did nothing inappropriate with his son.''
KHOU-TV cited a text message exchange between Peterson and the child's mother.
Mother: "What happened to his head?''
Peterson: "Hit his head on the Carseat.''
Mother: "How does that happen, he got a whoopin in the car.''
Peterson: "I felt so bad. But he did it his self.''
According to the report, Peterson goes on to say he disciplined his son for cursing at a sibling.
Mother: "What did you hit him with?''
Peterson never directly answered, the report said, but later replied: "Be still n take ya whooping he would have saved the scare [scar]. He aight [all right].''
Peterson, who was deactivated for the game against the Patriots this past weekend but will resume practice this week and be eligible to play against the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday, issued a statement saying he is "sorry about the hurt I have brought to my child.''
Meanwhile, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said on Monday that defensive end Greg Hardy, who in July was found guilty by a judge of assaulting a female and communicating threats, will practice this week. Rivera, who deactivated Hardy for Sunday's Lions game, said he will decide later in the week whether to activate him for Sunday night's game against the Steelers.
"Greg is with the team,'' Rivera said. "We're going to go through this week and evaluate circumstances. It's a fluid situation.''
Rivera said he deactivated Hardy in large part because of the negative publicity focused on the NFL's handling of domestic violence cases. The move came nearly a week after a TMZ Sports video was posted showing former Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee in an elevator of an Atlantic City casino in February. Peterson's indictment came five days after the Rice video was posted.
"I don't know if it was new information as much as it was changes in the climate,'' said Rivera, who added that his decision was in the best interests of the team. "If you play him and win, you don't have a conscience. If you play him and lose, he's a distraction.''
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that public pressure will not stop him from continuing to play Ray McDonald during an investigation into the defensive lineman's arrest on suspicion of domestic violence. McDonald was arrested Aug. 31 after allegedly getting into an altercation with his pregnant fiancee.
A spokesman for the NFL Players Association said Monday that it will appeal Rice's indefinite suspension by commissioner Roger Goodell before Tuesday night's midnight deadline.
Peterson, who was charged last weekend after hitting his son with a "switch'' -- a small tree branch -- said he could not give details about his case on his attorney's advice. But he did say in his statement, "I never intended to harm my son . . . I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen . . . I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser.''
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman refuted the notion that the Vikings have reinstated Peterson because he is an elite player and an essential part of the football team. "It has nothing to do with him as a football player," Spielman said. "It's based purely on the facts that we have that have been presented to us.''
Goodell, who has come under intense criticism for his handling of recent domestic violence cases, told team executives on Monday that he had appointed NFL vice president Anna Isaacson as the league's new vice president of social responsibility. Isaacson, who has been working on how the league addresses domestic violence issues, will have her role expanded to include the development of education, training and support programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault.
Goodell also announced the appointment of three senior advisers for domestic violence issues: Lisa Friel, the former head of the sex crimes prosecution unit in the New York County district attorney's office; Jane Randel, co-founder of NO MORE, a national initiative to raise the profile and normalize the conversation about domestic violence and sexual assault, and Rita Smith, the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.