Vikings Teammates Say They’d Welcome Peterson Back [POLL]
Adrian Peterson has been away from the Minnesota Vikings for just about two months as he has dealt with legal issues surrounding child abuse allegations. In that time, the team has looked to other players to step up. With Peterson's plea deal yesterday, the question of if or when he will return to the team is up in the air.
Even though there are still questions about his future with the team and what additional punishment the NFL may give Peterson, ESPN reports that a number of his teammates welcome his return. These team members reportedly include some prominent names on the Vikings roster that say they would welcome him back without any hesitation.
The team released a statement last night, acknowledging their awareness of Peterson's updated legal status. They went on to say in the statement that they would reserve further comment for "an appropriate time". That time will likely be after the league decided whether or not they will give Peterson any additional punishment. Some have speculated that his paid time away from the team while on the commissioner's exempt list could count as time served as part of any potential suspension that may be handed down.
During Peterson's absence, the team's offense has been somewhat inconsistent. That said, the team ranks 12th in rushing yards in the league. The duo of Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata have combined for 723 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging just over 90 yards a game while Peterson has been away.
While some of his teammates would welcome Peterson back without hesitation, how will fans and sponsors feel if the Vikings bring him back? Fans seemed largely split on the issue early on, but it's hard to say where the public stands at this time. A number of sponsors, including Radisson Hotels, were vocal with the team's initial decision to keep Peterson active on the roster after news broke of the situation. Will fans and sponsors be as willing to forgive and move on, feeling content with the legal outcome and whatever (if any) punishment the league might hand down? Should the team cut ties and look to the future with younger (and less expensive) prospects like McKinnon and Asiata? Time will only tell what the team actually does.