The Minnesota Vikings have "serious concerns" about running back Adrian Peterson's mental and physical state after being on the Commissioner's Exempt list since mid-September, reports Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
According to La Canfora, at this point there's no guarantee the team would invite Peterson back, even if he's reinstated. Peterson facing child abuse charges led to the Vikings taking "a significant public relations hit," and they're sensitive to further backlash they could receive for welcoming him back to the team.
Peterson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault on Tuesday and was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and perform 80 hours of community service. He originally faced felony charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child after being accused of hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter report that the NFL Players Association sent the NFL a letter on Friday calling for the immediate reinstatement of Peterson. If the league declines, the NFLPA is prepared to file a non-injury grievance.
The NFL reportedly rejected an attempt to have Peterson immediately reinstated last week and have informed him his case will now be reviewed under the NFL's personal conduct policy, a process that has already begun, according to La Canfora. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said to expect a December return for the running back.
La Canfora reports Peterson is not in game shape and hasn't been working out "nearly to the degree he would have if he were playing." In October, Peterson reportedly told a staffer he "smoked a little weed" before giving a urine sample, which was in violation of his bond agreement.
The marijuana admission concerns Minnesota, according to La Canfora, as does the fact that Peterson has seemed "aloof and immature" while facing his charges.
Rapoport reported on Sunday that Vikings executives are "divided" on whether they want Peterson to return if immediately reinstated.
The Vikings (4-5) have a bye in Week 10. Peterson would need to be reinstated by Tuesday to participate in a full week of practice heading into Minnesota's next game against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 16.
- Molly Geary