A two-day appeal for suspended Vikings running back Adrian Peterson concluded late Thursday afternoon, and hearing officer Harold Henderson will decide within the next several days whether Peterson can be reinstated or whether his six-game ban will stand.
NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent's testimony at the hearing could be crucial in whether Peterson is allowed back on the field this season.
Vincent told Peterson by telephone last month that he would be credited with time served while he was on the commissioner's exempt list since Sept. 17. But after Peterson pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless assault for injuring his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for the final six games of the regular season.
Under terms of the suspension, Peterson could not apply for reinstatement until April 15 and had to undergo counseling.
The 2012 NFL MVP hasn't played since Week 1 after he was arrested and charged in Montgomery, Texas, with one felony count of injury to a child.
He was placed on paid leave while the legal process played out, and had hoped to return to the Vikings after his no-contest plea. Instead, Goodell suspended him, citing the league's personal conduct policy and a newly revised penalty structure that called for a minimum six-game suspension for a first domestic violence incident.
The NFL Players Association called the punishment "unprecedented, arbitrary, and unlawful.'' The union is arguing that Peterson should get credit for time served on the exempt list. The NFLPA submitted a tape of a conversation between Peterson and Vincent, in which Vincent said Peterson would receive a two-game suspension if he attended a disciplinary hearing Nov. 14 with Goodell. Peterson skipped that meeting.