Peterson plays two days after death of son

ESPN staff
October 13, 2013
Peterson is consoled post-match by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton © Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson played against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, just two days after the death of his two-year-old son.

Peterson finished with 62 yards on 10 carries and 21 yards on three receptions, but the Vikings (1-4) trailed the whole game and were overwhelmed by the Panthers in a 35-10 loss.

Peterson arrived at Mall of America Field about 2 hours and 15 minutes before Sunday's game, greeted with a warm reception from fans.

"My brother passed the night before the combine and I decided to go through with it. The same reason why I will play this week," Peterson said, explaining his decision to play.

"You may ask why. God wants good to come from it. we mourn and grieve but heaven had the baddest welcoming party for my son. That knowledge gives me peace.

"I'm still hurt and feel the pain of life, but I'm able to function because of the peace and joy of knowing my loved ones are in a much better place."

Peterson had said on Friday that he planned to play, adding "I'm focused and ready to go."

But Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he planned to check in with Peterson throughout the weekend, realising the emotions of the situation could lead to a change in plans.

However, Peterson stuck with the Vikings' normal schedule and was put on the team's active roster. He entered Sunday's game third in the league with 421 rushing yards and a league-leading five rushing touchdowns, despite the Vikings having an early bye week.

The two-year-old boy died Friday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, from injuries sustained during an alleged aggravated assault, police said.

Police are not releasing the boy's name out of respect for the family.

Joseph Patterson, 27, was charged with the child's death. He had a court appearance on Friday and was held on $750,000 bail.

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This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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