Adrian Peterson did his best to put the tragedy of last week behind him, seeking solace among his teammates on a football field Sunday.
The NFL MVP found the football part of it tough going, rushing for only 62 yards in a loss that dropped the Minnesota Vikings to 1-4. The emotional part, with Peterson playing just two days after the death of his 2-year-old son, is unimaginable, but Peterson had no regrets about playing.
“I was set on it,” Peterson said (via Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press). “I just look at things, and I don’t ask people to understand my mind-set and how I think. Anything bad, I try to take good from it. That’s the way I approach life in all situations. I never thought about not playing. It was all about just going out there and praying that I have the strength to get through and help my team. That was my focus.”
Peterson’s son died Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D., of injuries he suffered Wednesday afternoon when he allegedly was assaulted by Joseph Patterson, who was dating his mother. Patterson is being held on charges of aggravated assault and battery of an infant. Those are likely to be upgraded with the child’s death.
Peterson has faced well-documented tragedies in the past. His older brother died at the age of 7 after he was struck by a drunk driver. When Peterson was 13, his father was convicted of money-laundering and served an eight-year sentence. On the night before the 2007 NFL scouting combine, Peterson’s half-brother was shot to death and Peterson went on with football. Sunday, just as the combine was six years ago, “was tough.”
“Any time you lose a child, no matter the circumstances, it hurts,” he said. “I can’t describe it. I’ve got a good supporting cast surrounding me. I’ll be good.”
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