NFL Players Union Seeks to Clear Way for Peterson Return

The National Football League Players Association filed a grievance seeking Adrian Peterson’s removal from the commissioner’s exempt list, the next step in his return to the playing field.

The NFLPA said in an e-mail yesterday that it filed an “expedited, non-injury grievance” after the NFL failed to address the union’s request last week to remove Peterson from the list.

Peterson, 29, a Minnesota Vikings running back, was placed on the exempt list on Sept. 17, less than a week after he was indicted in Texas in a child-abuse case. He has not played since the opening weekend of the NFL season.

Brian McCarthy, an NFL spokesman, said the league is “prepared to consider what, if any, discipline should now be imposed under the personal conduct policy.”

“We asked Mr. Peterson and his representatives, including the NFLPA, for relevant information,” McCarthy said yesterday in an e-mail. “We have not received any of the requested information, but remain prepared to schedule a hearing and make a determination as quickly as possible based on as much information as available.”

Peterson, the 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player, reached a plea deal last week to avoid trial by pleading no contest to reckless assault, a misdemeanor. He was fined $4,000 and ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.

Peterson was put on the exempt list while facing charges that he beat his 4-year-old son with a switch, a whip fashioned from a thin tree branch. He apologized for the incident, saying his intent was to discipline his son and not to injure him.

Salary Paid

Peterson, who is making $11.75 million this season, has been paid his salary while sidelined.

“We have received the NFLPA’s grievance on behalf of Adrian Peterson,” McCarthy said. “We have honored our commitment to Mr. Peterson and the NFLPA not to process or impose any discipline until the criminal charges pending in Texas were resolved.”

The Vikings released a statement before the NFLPA grievance was announced, saying it was waiting for the NFL to determine Peterson’s eligibility to return.

“In regards to Adrian Peterson’s status with the Minnesota Vikings, at this time his potential reinstatement is under NFL guidelines,” the Vikings said earlier yesterday. “As an organization, we respect and understand the league’s process.”

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