this Aug. 8th file photo, Minnesota Vikings running back
Adrian Peterson leaves the field after an NFL preseason
football game against the Oakland Raiders in
Minneapolis. A federal judge has cleared the way for
Peterson to be reinstated. U.S. District Judge David
Doty issued his order Thursday, less than three weeks
after hearing oral arguments.
Minnesota Vikings have repeatedly praised Adrian Peterson
during the offseason, with his status slowly moving toward
hasn't had the same warmth for the Vikings.
NFL returned the star running back to the exempt list Thursday
after a federal judge ruled in his and the NFL Players
Association's favor. They've been seeking dismissal of league
arbitrator Harold Henderson's denial of Peterson's appeal of
his suspension under the NFL's divisive personal conduct
said Friday he was pleased by U.S. District Judge David Doty's
decision that the NFL immediately appealed.
is a positive step in protecting players' rights and
preserving due process for all players. It also brings me one
step closer to getting back on the football field and playing
the sport I love," Peterson said in a statement issued
through his agency. "As I prepare for my return to
football, I am still focused on my family and continue to work
to become a better father every day. I want to express my
gratitude for all of the support I have received from the
fans, NFLPA, Jeffrey Kessler, and my agents Ben Dogra, Tracy
Lartigue, and Mark Heligman of Relativity Sports."
is the union's lead lawyer who argued the case in Doty's
courtroom in Minneapolis three weeks ago. That's about four
blocks from the construction site of the team's new stadium,
where the surrounding fence is decorated with a purple mesh
banner featuring pictures of several key players including
he'll actually suit up for the Vikings there in 2016, or with
them at their temporary home in 2015, remains a big question.
Peterson glaringly skipped the Vikings in his list of thanks
and made no mention of his future with the only team he has
ever played for professionally.
NFL team will be fortunate to have Adrian on its roster as he
will consistently serve as a strong leader and impactful
performer," Dogra said in his statement.
manager Rick Spielman, one of several high-ranking officials
who have professed confidence in Peterson and his character
and a desire for him to return, said last week that his
expectation is that Peterson will be back with Minnesota.
Peterson's contract runs through 2017, carrying a $15.4
million salary cap hit for 2015, but the Vikings could cut him
and owe him no more money and take only a $2.4 million hit to
their salary cap this year. They could trade him starting
NFL's appeal to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis
has been set up with a briefing schedule that would call for a
hearing between June 8-12, according to clerk of court Michael
Gans. Currently, the NFL's first written arguments will be due
by April 8.
be up to the parties if they want to move this more quickly
and seek a hearing sooner than that," Gans said.
suspension is supposed to last through at least April 15. The
league said Thursday that Peterson's status on the exempt list
will be "pending further proceedings" by Henderson
or a determination by the 8th Circuit.