Could a Week 16 return be in the cards for indefinitely suspended Vikings running back Adrian Peterson? How about next week? Sports Illustrated's Peter King thinks there's a distinct possibility AP returns to play in the Vikings final three games this season.
[MMQB] With Peterson likely (but not certain) to be reinstated by a league appeals officer, Harold Henderson, next week, the ball would be in Minnesota’s court as to whether to activate him for the final three games of the year. We’ll hear lots about it this weekend, including whether the Vikings’ coaching side is on the same page with the Vikings’ front-office.
In other news, Peter King does not know how to break a massive news story (this is the second biggest story in sports right now and he had it hidden in the #3 slot of his "What I'll Be Watching This Weekend" column).
Though King puts Peterson's reinstatement as "likely," the Vikings are 5-7 and on the verge of being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs (thanks in large part to the screwy NFC South). Why would the organization activate a reinstated Peterson and risk the public backlash, without having anything to gain from his return? If they were 7-5 it'd be one thing, but they're in no position to be desperately chasing a playoff spot when such a great deal of public scrutiny lies ahead.
When Peterson is reinstated next week, his time on the Commissioner's Exempt List will be retroactively credited as his punishment, which Sports Illustrated expects to be a suspension of two-games. Ironically, it's kind of the same situation as Ryan Leaf, who was released yesterday after serving a concurrent prison sentence in Montana for a crime that also violated his parole in Texas. Small world, huh?
[SI] NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent was scheduled to testify on Thursday. The AP reports Peterson was told by Vincent that he would be credited with time served while on the Commissioner’s Exempt list and would be given a two-game ban if he showed up at a disciplinary hearing Nov. 14 with Goodell.
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