Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has reached a plea deal in his child abuse case, ESPN reports.
The agreement puts a reckless assault misdemeanor charge on the running back’s record. The charge to which Peterson pleads guilty makes no reference to “child abuse.” Under the terms negotiated, the 2012 MVP will pay a $2,000 fine and work community service for 80 hours. He will be on probation. The deal enables Peterson to avoid jail.
More significantly for the running back, it facilitates his return to the NFL, which put him on the commissioner’s “exempt” list in the wake of his September indictment in Texas for beating his four-year-old son with a switch. The Vikings initially activated Peterson after he missed a Week 2 game against the New England Patriots. But the uproar from sponsors, including the Radisson hotel chain, compelled the team to rethink its decision.
Peterson may still face league discipline as a result of the misdemeanor conviction.
Peterson, compiling 10,190 yards on the ground, sits in third place on the all-time rushing list among active NFL running backs. His age, 29, gives him probably the best shot, albeit an outside one, of breaking Emmit Smith’s record of 18,355 yards on the ground among backs currently playing.