Times like this is when football takes a backseat to life.
The 2-year-old son (name remains anonymous) of Minnesota Vikings All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson died this morning in a hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., after having allegedly been beaten by his mother’s boyfriend Wednesday night, according to police.
The boyfriend, 27-year-old Joseph Robert Patterson, was charged with two felonies: aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault. He is currently in custody and being held on a $750,000 bond.
Patterson was watching the young boy when a 911 call was placed Wednesday evening for a “medical emergency.” Upon the boy’s arrival to the hospital, it was reported that his injuries were consistent with abuse in a non-accidental confrontation with Patterson.
Patterson has a history of violence and before this incident was already close to serving jail time for two domestic violence charges. One case was for simple assault and the other was for violating an order to stay away from the victim in that case.
South Dakota State’s Attorney Thomas Wollman filed a motion this morning ordering Patterson to serve two, one-year sentences that had been suspended from the other two domestic abuse charges.
The Vikings are coming off their bye week and are hosting the Carolina Panthers this Sunday at the Metrodome. Peterson has already committed to playing before his son officially passed away, so it is unknown at this time if he indeed still plans to play or not.
Peterson has maintained throughout the ordeal that he would play, “football is something I’ll always fall back on to get me through tough times,” Peterson said. “That’s what I need.”
He didn’t practice on Thursday and has since flown back to Sioux Falls to be with his family.
Peterson briefly spoke to reporters this afternoon stating, “I really appreciate all the support that I’ve been receiving from the fans and the Vikings organization.”
He went on to to say that this is a private matter and asked everyone to respect his privacy at this time.
On behalf of everyone at Lombardi Ave., we send our prayers and love to the Peterson family as they go through this extremely difficult time.