Adrian Peterson practiced Friday the Minnesota Vikings. Later that day, his young son died of injuries he sustained in an assault Wednesday. (Elizabeth Flores / Minnesapolis Star-Tribune / AP Photo)

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is listed as active for the team’s game against the Carolina Panthers and is expected to play, just as he said he would shortly before learning Friday that his young son had died of injuries he sustained in an assault.

Football, Peterson explained Friday, is a refuge and that’s why he’ll be on the field days after the boy’s death in Sioux Falls, S.D.

“My brother passed the night before the [2007 NFL scouting] combine and I decided to go through with it,” the NFL MVP wrote in a text message to Laura Okmin of Fox Sports. “The same reason why I will play this week. 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.”

Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, is being held on $750,000 bond in connection with the beating. He initially was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated assault on an infant, with additional charges possible.

“This experience has shown all of us that this has been very difficult for him along with the mother of the child as well and her family and he needs our support more than ever,” Coach Leslie Frazier told Okmin. “In the past, we’ve always relied on him to be the rock for us and this has shown us that we need to help him through a very difficult time.”

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