Minnesota Vikings player Adrian Peterson has been reinstated, effective April 17, the National Football league announced in a statement on Thursday.
Starting Friday, Peterson may participate in all scheduled activities with the Vikings.
Peterson was suspended for the remainder of the 2014 season without pay on Nov. 18 following an incident in which he used abusive discipline against his 4-year-old son in May. The player pleaded no contest to reckless assault of the child in a Texas court on Nov. 4.
The league said in the statement that Peterson received a letter from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that said he is still expected “to fulfill his remaining obligations to the authorities in Minnesota and Texas.” Peterson is also expected to maintain medically advised counseling and treatment, which the NFL said he committed to during an April 7 meeting with Goodell.
Should Peterson violate any other of the league’s policies, he could face further discipline that could include suspension without pay or banishment from the league.
In their own statement on Thursday, the Vikings said they would welcome Peterson back on the team.
"The Minnesota Vikings have been informed by the NFL that Adrian Peterson has been reinstated," the Vikings' statement read. "We look forward to Adrian re-joining the Vikings."
Peterson avoided jail time and was instead sentenced to probation in November by a Texas judge, according to the Associated Press. In September, the player was indicted on a felony charge of injury to a child after he had used a wooden switch to discipline his son, AP reported.
"I stand here and I take full responsibility for my actions. I love my son more than anyone of you could even imagine and I'm anxious to continue my relationship with my child," Peterson said outside the courthouse at the time, following his plea deal.
Attention and criticism for Peterson’s case grew as it coincided with the NFL’s mishandling of the Ray Rice incident, in which a hotel security footage showed the ex-Ravens football player knocking his wife unconscious. Had Peterson been found guilty, he'd have faced up to two years in prison.
In a letter announcing his suspension from the league, Goodell criticized Peterson’s actions, saying at his trial, Peterson showed “no meaningful remorse for your conduct.”
Peterson’s suspension from the league was overturned by a U.S. district judge in February, following a lawsuit filed in December by the NFL Players Association. However, the NFL appealed that decision.
In March, following the annual owners meetings in Arizona, Goodell had said the league was still evaluating Peterson’s situation.
Here's the NFL's full release:
Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings was advised today that effective tomorrow he is reinstated as an active NFL player and may participate in all scheduled activities with the Vikings.
In a letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell, Peterson was informed that 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 advisors.
Beyond the requirement to comply with his court obligations and plan of counseling, 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 violation of the Personal Conduct Policy by Peterson would result in additional discipline, which could include suspension without pay or banishment from the NFL.
Peterson was suspended without pay last November 18 for the remainder of the 2014 NFL season for violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy in an incident of abusive discipline that he inflicted on his four-year-old son last May. Peterson pled no contest on November 4 in state court in Montgomery County, Texas to reckless assault of the child.
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