- - Tuesday, August 21, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Did the Washington Redskins sign the same Adrian Peterson who was suspended by the NFL for six games in 2014 and fined in connection with child abuse charges against his own son?

Or is this a different Adrian Peterson? I’m not sure.

You see, I looked for that information in some of the local news reports about the Redskins signing the 33-year-old running back, but couldn’t seem to find it — not in the Washington Post, not in The Washington Times. Maybe I missed it, I don’t know.

Or maybe this is a business so turned around that it has lost its way.

I mean, how many future Hall of Fame running backs have been suspended in this league for six games after an investigation into charges of beating his son with a “switch” so severely that it left horrific marks on the 4-year-old’s body?

Does this happen so often that it is not even worth a mention when the team you cover signs this player?

Peterson’s suspension and court case on charges of beating his 4-year-old son are in the first five or six paragraphs of his obituary someday. But no mention of it now?

I read about Peterson making the Pro Bowl seven times in his 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. I read that he is 12th in rushing in NFL history. I read how he won the NFL Most Valuable Player award in 2012 and ran for more than 2,000 yards — coming back from a torn knee ligament the year before.

But nothing about one of the most infamous suspensions in the history of the NFL.

I guess time does heal all wounds — even in newsprint.

Here are some of the wounds he was charged with inflicting on his 4-year-old son: “visible swelling, marks and cuts” on the boy’s ankles, limbs, backs, buttocks and genitals, according to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who laid out those details — horrifically captured in photos — in his suspension of Peterson.

A 2014 CBS Houston report cited police documents that said Peterson’s son told authorities he was worried that his father would punch him in the face if he told authorities about the beatings. He also said that Peterson put leaves in his mouth when he was being hit with the switch while his pants were down and that the child’s mother told police that Peterson liked belts and switches” and had a “whooping room.”

Peterson pleaded no contest in Texas to one count of misdemeanor reckless assault in a deal with prosecutors after initially being charged with felony child abuse. He was sentenced to two years of probation, a $4,000 fine and 80 hours of public service.

He gave this statement after his sentencing: “I truly regret this incident. I stand here and I take full responsibility for my actions. I love my son more than any one of you can even imagine.”

Peterson met his legal obligations, and, after his suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, was reinstated in 2015 and rushed for 1,485 yards for the Vikings. He missed much of the 2016 season with right knee injuries and became a free agent last year when Minnesota declined to pick up his option.

He signed with the New Orleans Saints last season, but was traded after four games to the Arizona Cardinals after his role was diminished there behind Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. He ran for 134 and 159 yards respectively in two games there, but his productivity dropped and, after suffering a season-ending neck injury in November, was released in March by Arizona.

Now, here he is in Washington, where the Redskins — desperate at running back after a season-ending injury to Derrius Guice and Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall out with ankle injuries — have given Peterson a chance to make the team. He was signed to a one-year deal, but with no guarantee of a roster spot.

Two weeks to make the Washington Redskins roster, even as a backup running back. I’d say that’s Adrian Peterson’s professional obituary — with some details sadly missing.

Thom Loverro’s podcast, “Cigars & Curveballs,” is available on iTunes, Google Play and the reVolver network.

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