Just two days after the death of his two-year-old son, Adrian Peterson was back on the field for the Minnesota Vikings. No stranger to tragedy, the reigning NFL MVP shed some light on his decision to play in a text message sent to FOX Sports sideline reporter Laura Okmin:
"My brother passed the night before the combine and I decided to go through with it. The same reason why I will play this week "You may ask why? God wants good to come from it ... we mourn and grieve but heaven had the baddest welcoming party for my son. That knowledge gives me peace. I'm still hurt and feel the pain of life, but I'm able to function because of the peace and joy of knowing my loved ones are in a much better place."
Police in Sioux Falls, South Dakota confirmed to NFL Media that Peterson's son passed away on Friday afternoon. The two-year-old, whose name will be announced next week, died from injuries suffered during an alleged aggravated assault. A man dating the boy's mother, 27-year-old Joey Patterson, has been charged and a judge set a $75,000 bond, according to the Argus Leader.
"I really appreciate all the support from fans and the Vikings," said Peterson, who also indicated he planned to play on Sunday. "I ask y'all to respect my privacy."
UPDATE 6:33 p.m. EST: After the Vikings were defeated 35-10 by the Panthers, Peterson spoke to the media about his decision to play.
"I was set on it," said Peterson, via The Associated Press. "I just look at things and I don't ask people to understand my mindset and how I think. Anything bad, I try to take good from it. That's the way I approach life in all situations. I never thought about not playing. It was all about just going out there and praying that I have the strength to get through and help my team. That was my focus."