Adrian Peterson: What’s Next?

Adrian Peterson has only played one game yet this season stemming from a report that he hit his son with a tree branch this spring. No matter your opinions on the issue, the facts are that Adrian Peterson hasn’t been a fantasy producer for you and many are wondering if (and when) he will be allowed back on the field.

Adrian Peterson Court
Peterson appeared in court this afternoon and could see the field again much sooner than we thought

Today, Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He was in a Texas courtroom with his wife, mother and attorneys as the proceeding went into session this afternoon.

Peterson was facing felony child abuse charges a few weeks ago but those charges have been dropped down to the misdemeanor charges mentioned above as Peterson agreed to in a plea deal. Remember that a plea is not necessarily admitting anything, but allows the citizen to face a lesser charge to avoid court costs and potential jail time.

Adrian “All Day” Peterson will be on probation all-day for 730 consecutive days (or two years) and will be fined approximately $4,000 plus court expenses. Another part of the plea deal would be Adrian issuing a public service announcement. This will cover half of his 80 hours of community service that he was given with the plea.

For those of you who missed (or forgot) what Peterson said originally when the story came out, he admitted to punishing his child using the same discipline techniques that were used on him when he was younger. He is currently receiving his full salary from the Minnesota Vikings (11.7 million) and has talked about how he just wants to get back to work.

Vikings teammate Kyle Rudolph said it would be crazy not to want him back in the locker room. “Anytime you can have a veteran back in that locker room, the leader that he is in the locker room, out on the practice field would be huge for us.”

As for now, Rick Spielman said that he is going to hold on discussing the Peterson situation “until it was appropriate to speak about it.” Still, with Kyle Rudolph hoping to come back in week 11, and a young Teddy Bridgewater needing a leader, the locker room is full of people from the Vikings organization that want Adrian back with the team.

The other twist on this roller coaster of a story is what the NFL might do with AP. He has now plead to a misdemeanor and not a felony so it will be tough for them to hold him out much longer, if at all. The Vikings are paying him in full, so even though most (if not all) disagree with what he did; they will want him back on the field in the immediate future.

The Vikings have a bye in week 10, along with five other teams. Adrian Peterson is a must own player (obviously) if he is on the field. Many people drafted him #1 overall or spent a significant share of auction dollars on him. If they gave up on him (and many did), scramble to pick him up in your league if you have room on your roster. Fantasy owners that are already sitting comfortable for the playoffs could even offer trades to get AP. As waivers go through Wednesday and Thursday, I fully expect Adrian Peterson to jump back to near 100% ownership. If the NFL suspends him two more games, he could be back for weeks 12 or 13, just in time to help you win your fantasy championship.

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Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!