In doing so, Wilf became the highest-ranking Vikings official to have expressed public support for Peterson potentially returning to the team next season. Peterson was suspended for the season in November after he was indicted on felony charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child in September. Authorities alleged Peterson struck his 4-year-old son with a switch. Peterson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault on Nov. 4.
Peterson, who will turn 30 next month, cannot be reinstated into the NFL before April 15. The NFL Players Association is suing the league in hopes of making Peterson eligible for immediate reinstatement, arguing that the NFL overstepped boundaries in its discipline of the running back.
Wilf, speaking at the unveiling of the Wilf Family Center at the University of Minnesota Masonic Hospital, said the Vikings would welcome Peterson back if he is reinstated.
"Adrian's done a lot of good in this community," Wilf said. "He's done a lot for us on the football field, as well. Of course, he's a Minnesota Viking, and we'd love to have him back. And of course, a lot depends on the NFL and steps he's making in his own personal journey. That's where we're at with it."
Peterson is currently due to make a $12.75 million base salary in 2015 under his current contract, which runs through 2017.
Last month, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said that Peterson is "a good person," but did not elaborate on the team's future plans.
The Vikings are unable to contact Peterson while he is suspended, though contact with agents is permitted.
- Mike Fiammetta