Star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted in Texas on a charge of child abuse after using a branch to spank his son and the team benched him for this weekend’s game against New England.
Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said Friday that the charge in Montgomery County, Texas, accuses Peterson of using a branch, or switch, to spank one of his sons, whose age was not disclosed. Hardin said Peterson has cooperated with authorities and didn’t mean any harm.
“Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas,” Hardin said. “Adrian has never hidden from what happened. … It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”
The Vikings said Peterson would be on the inactive list for their home opener against New England.
The NFL didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Peterson’s situation.
A man who identified himself as Peterson’s uncle, Chris Peterson, answered the door at the running back’s home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and said Peterson wasn’t there and that the family had no comment.
Last season, not long after finding out that he had a 2-year-old son living in South Dakota, Peterson rushed to the hospital after the boy was brutally beaten by his mother’s boyfriend. The boy died, and a 28-year-old man is scheduled to go on trial next month on second-degree murder charges in the case.
Players approve drug policy changes
HGH testing is coming to the NFL this season.
Player representatives to the union voted Friday to implement testing for human growth hormone for the 2014 NFL season. HGH testing was originally agreed upon in 2011, but the players have balked at the science in the testing and the appeals process for positive tests.
They also approved a league proposal to significantly increase the threshold for positive marijuana tests. Some players have complained that the NFL threshold of 15 nanograms per milliliter is so low that anyone within the vicinity of people smoking marijuana could test positive. The threshold has been increased to 35 ng/ml.
Overall changes are retroactive for players suspended under previous policies, as well as for those in the appeal process.
Those players, presumably including Browns receiver Josh Gordon (suspended for the season) and Broncos receiver Wes Welker (four games), are subject to standards of the new policies. Their suspensions could be reduced – no immediate announcements were made regarding those suspensions.
Welker was suspended for amphetamine use in the offseason, but punishment for that is being switched from the performance enhancers policy to the substance abuse program – except for in-season violations.
A two-game suspension will be issued for a player convicted of driving under the influence. But an NFL proposal to immediately suspend a player, owner, coach, team executive or league employee for a DUI arrest was rejected by the union.
“This is a historic moment for our players and our league,” NFLPA President Eric Winston said. “We have collectively bargained drug policies that will keep the game clean and safe, but also provide our players with an unprecedented level of fairness and transparency.”
Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has been fined $8,268 by the NFL for his kick to the face of Browns punter Spencer Lanning last Sunday. … Panthers coach Ron Rivera said defensive end Greg Hardy will start the team’s home opener Sunday against the Lions. The defensive end was convicted July 15 of assault on a female and communicating threats, but is appealing. Rivera listed Cam Newton (ribs) as probable, but says there’s “no doubt” the quarterback will start after practicing all week. … The Chargers could face the Seahawks on Sunday without key cornerback Brandon Flowers. Flowers has a groin injury and didn’t practice on Friday. … Chiefs right tackle Jeff Allen had surgery on his right elbow and will miss the rest of the season.
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