Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) waves to fans as he leaves the field after a preseason NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn.

Image: Mark Zaleski/Associated Press
By Sam Laird2014-09-15 17:30:56 UTC

The Minnesota Vikings have reinstated Adrian Peterson while he deals with a child-injury charge after he allegedly disciplined his son by repeatedly striking him with a switch.

The Vikings deactivated Peterson for their game Sunday against the New England Patriots after TMZ broke news late Friday afternoon that the NFL superstar had been charged for giving his 4-year-old son a “whooping” with a stripped tree branch in May. The Vikings lost to the Patriots, 30-7. It was just the latest blow to the NFL‘s public image in a brutal week for the league.

Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said they want Peterson to go through the full legal process before evaluating his place with the franchise, according to the Associated Press.

“To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child,” the Wilfs said Monday, per the AP. “At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action. This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing. Currently we believe we are at a juncture where the most appropriate next step is to allow the judicial process to move forward.”

Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said on Friday that the player admits to hitting his son with a switch — discipline consistent with what Peterson himself experienced as a child. But Hardin added that it’s “important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”

Nonetheless, details from a police report in the case are disturbing.

Peterson turned himself in to authorities late Friday night. He was booked on one charge of injury to a child and released on $15,000 bond, according to USA Today. Police released this mugshot.

JUST IN: Adrian Peterson turns self in to Montgomery County authorities http://t.co/FuYuAy0Lrv #HouNews #NFL pic.twitter.com/EmgpkMNdHl

— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) September 13, 2014