Welcome to Around the Horns, our daily look at what's happening on the Vikings beat:
Arbitrator Harold Henderson's decision to uphold Adrian Peterson's suspension for the rest of the 2014 season was in no way the end of the running back's fight for reinstatement. In fact, it might be just the beginning.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported on Friday night that a lawsuit could be filed on Peterson's behalf as soon as Monday in federal court in Minnesota, and in an interview with ESPN on Friday, Peterson said a lawsuit was "of course" in his plans. The lawsuit is expected to challenge the objectivity of Henderson, a former league executive who has a history of siding with the NFL in appeals hearings.
"They got a biased arbitrator in Harold Henderson, who has ruled 95 percent in [NFL commissioner] Roger [Goodell's] favor," Peterson said. "I was hoping that, by him hearing the evidence, that he would do the right thing with what was presented to him -- knowing that my incident, just like Ray Rice’s incident, happened during the old CBA, not the new process they’re trying to lay on me. That has been tough to deal with. I’m built for it. It is what it is. Now I’ve got to sit back and go through this [lawsuit] process. Hopefully they’re not biased. I don’t see why it would be tough to rule against the arbitrator. If we would’ve had an unbiased arbitrator, it might have turned out different."
Peterson cannot be reinstated until April 15, which ostensibly hurts his market value, since many teams will have used a large portion of their salary-cap space in free agency before then. He said on Friday he didn't see why he'd need to take a pay cut in 2015, adding he would expect to be a better running back next season than he was in 2014, but the league's reinstatement date certainly hurts Peterson's leverage.
The running back seemed aware of the risk that a lawsuit could hurt his chances for a quick reinstatement, but a victory in court could afford him a chance to return sooner, as well. Peterson mentioned he has thought seriously about retirement, and while that still appears unlikely from here -- he wouldn't be gearing up for a legal battle if he was set on walking away -- the running back will certainly keep a close eye on how he's treated during the next steps of the process. He certainly wants a chance to tell his story in what he believes will be a more objective arena.
"I take full responsibility for my actions. I did that from day one," Peterson said. "I wanted to meet with the grand jury [in Texas], without a lawyer and without the authorities. I disciplined my child. It wasn’t a beating. If you beat somebody, you’re going to have marks on the stomach, chest, upper arm. When you see all the marks on his butt, and the switch was wrapping around, that was discipline that I regret. The first mistake was pulling his pants down. The second mistake was not making sure the switch was short enough. I should have made sure there weren’t small ridges on the tip of the switch. It wasn't until I turned him around that I saw what the switch was doing. I apologized to my child. It was something I wasn't seeing that was happening.
"I don’t need no prepping for anything. If you tell the truth, you don’t need no prep. I want to have the opportunity, so the world can see my face, and they're able to take it for what it is."
In case you missed it on ESPN.com:
Teddy Bridgewater has changed the conversation about whether he can be an effective NFL quarterback to a few sticking points in a loss to the Lions on Sunday, and that's a sign of progress, Kevin Seifert writes.
The Vikings aren't concerned about kicker Blair Walsh, who had a field goal blocked on Sunday and has missed five kicks in his past two games.
Seifert took a look at what Sunday's game meant for the Vikings in our Rapid Reaction piece.
ESPN Lions reporter Michael Rothstein and Seifert handed out game balls to Jason Jones and Kyle Rudolph after Sunday's game.
Best of the rest:
Bridgewater is heading in the right direction, but on Sunday he learned about the small margin between victory and defeat in the NFL, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Jim Souhan writes.
Cordarrelle Patterson found ways to contribute on both special teams and offense late in the Vikings' loss to the Lions, writes Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.