Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings player, has reached a plea deal to avoid jail time after being charged with child abuse.

Adrian Peterson Reaches Plea Deal

As part of the plea deal, Peterson pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor reckless assault, and the running back will also have to pay a $4,000 fine in addition to performing 80 hours of community service. The plea deal also dictates that Peterson must participate in parenting classes and be placed under two years probation.

“I’m just glad this is over. I can put this behind me, and me and my family can move forward,” Peterson told reporters.

In September, Peterson was indicted was indicted on one charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child after an investigation found that he had injured his 4-year-old son while using a switch to spank him. Peterson maintains that he was simply disciplining his child and that no injuries were intended. Following his indictment, Peterson was suspended from the Minnesota Vikings and placed on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s exempt list, and has been absent from games and the Minnesota Vikings locker room since the decision.


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Peterson Remains On Roger Goodell's Exempt List

Now that Peterson has reached a plea deal, his teammates appear eager to welcome him back to the fold. Tight end Kyle Rudolph said that the team would be “crazy not to welcome him back into that locker room.”

“Guys have chatted amongst each other, and I don’t think there’s anyone in that locker room that would need to hear from him. We all know the kind of person Adrian is, and I feel like he’s proven that over his time here,” Rudolph said.

The Vikings released an official statement, saying that they had not yet decided whether or not to welcome Peterson back to the field: “The Vikings are aware of today’s plea agreement involving Adrian Peterson. We will have further comment at the appropriate time.”

Of course, before the Vikings can even consider inviting Peterson back into the fold, Goodell has to make the decision to take Peterson off his exempt list. Goodell and the Vikings are understandably hesitant to make any quick decisions. The NFL is still facing scrutiny after the mishandling of the Ray Rice investigation. And Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, is urging the commissioner to separate Peterson from Ray Rice going forward.

“On September 4 we were informed a grand jury here had declined to charge him [Peterson] and that it was over. And then the Ray Rice video came out that Monday on TMZ, and that next Thursday, the 11th, we were informed the grand jury was reconsidering his case, and then he was indicted. Part of what’s happened here is lumping these athletes in together. They’re all individuals, they’re all different circumstances. What I’m hoping is the NFL and the public will assess them individually and not lump them together. And if they do that I think Adrian has earned the right to get his chance,” Hardin told reporters.

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