*Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson avoided jail time Tuesday in a plea agreement reached with prosecutors to resolve his child abuse case.
Under the agreement approved by Montgomery County state District Judge Kelly Case and announced during a scheduled court hearing, Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault.
“I’m just glad this is over,” Peterson said shortly after Tuesday’s plea deal was announced. “I can put this behind me, and me and my family can move forward.”
Peterson was indicted in September on a felony charge of injury to a child for using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son earlier this year in suburban Houston. The All-Pro running back says he never intended to harm his son and was disciplining him in the same way he had been as a child growing up in East Texas.
The boy suffered cuts, marks and bruising to his thighs, back and on one of his testicles, according to court records. If convicted of felony child abuse, Peterson could have faced up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
“I truly regret this incident,” Peterson said. “I take full responsibility for my actions. I love my son more than anyone you could even imagine, and I’m anxious to continue my relationship with my child.”
The NFL and the Vikings have not yet announced whether they will suspend Peterson, who already has missed eight games with pay this season under the terms of the commissioner’s exempt list.
Several prominent Vikings players said Tuesday they’d be excited to have Peterson back on the roster, adding that the running back wouldn’t have to do anything to regain trust in the locker room.
“We all know the kind of person he is,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said. “We’ve stood behind him this whole time. You’d be crazy not to welcome him back into that locker room. It would be a big pickup for this locker room being we have so many young guys. Any time 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.
“Guys have chatted amongst each other, and I don’t think there’s anyone in that locker room that would need to hear from him. We all know the kind of person Adrian is, and I feel like he’s proven that over his time here.”
Watch Peterson’s post-court address below: