Adrian Peterson reinstated, can participate in all team activities

MINNEAPOLIS -- Seven months to the day after he was placed on the commissioner's exempt list, Adrian Peterson is free to resume his football career.

The NFL announced Thursday afternoon that it was reinstating the Minnesota Vikings running back, effective Friday, and that he would be allowed to participate in all of the Vikings' offseason activities.

Peterson was indicted by a Texas grand jury Sept. 12 on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. He was placed on the commissioner's exempt list with pay Sept. 17, after a sharp public reaction to the Vikings' initial plan to let Peterson play while his legal case was ongoing. Peterson pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless injury charges after injuring his son while disciplining him last May.

He was suspended Nov. 18, and the league put Peterson back on the commissioner's exempt list Feb. 26, once federal judge David Doty ordered arbitrator Harold Henderson to vacate Peterson's suspension.

In a letter from commissioner Roger Goodell, Peterson was informed that he is expected to fulfill his remaining obligations to the authorities in Minnesota and Texas, as well as the additional commitments Peterson made during his April 7 meeting with the commissioner, including participating in counseling.

The NFL also said any other violations of the personal conduct policy by Peterson would result in additional discipline, including possible suspension without pay or banishment from the NFL.

Peterson met with Goodell earlier this month regarding his reinstatement, the first time they had spoken since the child abuse case involving Peterson's young son arose last September.

Peterson told ESPN on Feb. 19 that he had been following the NFL's requirements for reinstatement, adding that he had met with Dr. April Kuchuk -- the New York University psychiatry instructor Goodell had assigned to Peterson's case -- to set up a counseling and treatment plan.

Now the theater for Peterson's saga shifts back to Minnesota.

The Vikings will start offseason workouts Monday and hold their first mandatory minicamp in June. It remains to be seen whether Peterson will show up for any of the team's offseason programs. He told ESPN in February that he believed the team had not shown sufficient support for him in the wake of his indictment in September and called the decision to put him on the exempt list an "ambush." Peterson said Monday that he wasn't sure whether he would participate in the Vikings' offseason program.

"The Minnesota Vikings have been informed by the NFL that Adrian Peterson has been reinstated," the team said in a statement released shortly after the NFL's announcement. "We look forward to Adrian rejoining the Vikings."

Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, has said that Peterson, 30, would like to leave Minnesota, but the Vikings have said repeatedly they want Peterson back and have no plan to trade him. Peterson's contract calls for a $12.75 million salary this season and doesn't expire for three more years.