SECOND UPDATE: This story keeps getting sadder. TMZ is reporting that football star Adrian Peterson met his son for the first time in the hospital when his son was on life support, just before he was pronounced dead.
Adrian apparently had first learned about his son just two or three months ago by the boy's mother, and Adrian had planned a flight to visit with his son in South Dakota later this month. Then, when he got word of the incident, he dropped everything and flew to see the boy in the hospital.
Reportedly, the boy's mother initially thought that a different one of her exes was her son's father, but that paternity test came back negative. So when Adrian was told he was the father, sources say he did not question the news but instead just asked how he could help. Adrian apparently had never met the suspect, who was dating the boy's mother at the time of the incident.
UPDATE: News outlet KETK NBC and other media outlets have confirmed that doctors have said Adrian Peterson's son has passed away as a result of his injuries. Our thoughts are with the Peterson family during this difficult time.
Original story: Truly tragic news from the world of sports today: TMZ reported that the 2-year-old son of Adrian Peterson, running back for the Minnesota Vikings, is "unresponsive" and in critical condition in a Sioux City, South Dakota hospital. In a recent unconfirmed update, the Minneapolis newspaper City Pagesreported today that the boy is “not expected to survive” injuries sustained from being allegedly beaten.
Police responded to a 911 call about a choking incident Friday, but emergency responders called to the scene determined that the injuries sustained by the boy were consistent with beating. Police have the arrested the suspect, 27-year-old Joseph Patterson, who was dating the boy’s mother. They have charged him with aggravated assault and battery of an infant. USA Today reports that Patterson has a history of domestic violence charges.
There were initially several conflicting reports about which of Peterson’s son was involved in the incident, but it has been confirmed that the victim is not Adrian Peterson Jr., who is regularly seen with his father at public events.
Peterson, the reigning NFL MVP, addressed the press after practice today, saying that he will be playing in Sunday’s game against Carolina. He said, “I plan on playing Sunday," he said. "I will be playing Sunday, correct that. I'll be ready to roll, focused. I'm worried about getting a W on Sunday, being 1-0... You know, football is something I will always fall back on. It gets me through tough times.”
In his statement to the press, Peterson also asked the media to respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.