Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's son was hospitalized and isn't expected to survive his injuries from the alleged beating by Joseph Patterson, whom the 2-year-old toddler's mother has been dating.
The outspoken Christian NFL player has returned to the team after missing Thursday's practice. His father, Nelson Peterson, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the child is indeed Adrian's.
"We are asking for prayers and for respect for our family as deal with this tragic situation," Nelson Peterson told St. Paul Pioneer Press.
One of Peterson's sons was in critical condition in a hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Law enforcement officials told TMZ that emergency responders arrived at the house on Wednesday afternoon, only to find the boy unresponsive, with multiple head injuries that were "consistent with abuse."
TMZ first misreported that the boy was Adrian Peterson, Jr.
According to the Argus Leader, Patterson is being without bond in the Minnehaha County Jail on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated battery of an infant. Patterson was along with the boy and it was Patterson who called 911 to report a choking, according to Lt. Blaine Larsen of the Sioux Falls Police Department
"The assault on an infant charge involves blows, shaking or causing a child's head to sustain impact with an object in a manner that causes bleeding or swelling on the brain," the Argus Leader clarified. "The crime is punishable by up to 25 years in prison."
A woman in Sioux Falls who is close to the boy's mother told City Pages the mother had a casual relationship with Peterson when she lived in Twin Cities (she's since moved to South Dakota). Both the mother and Peterson didn't find out about the identity of the father until a recent paternity test.
Previous reports have indicated Adrian only has two children, Adrian Jr. and a daughter named Adeja.
The source also said that Adrian's son is not expected to survive his injuries. The plan is to take him off a ventilator this evening and donate his organs.
Peterson returned to the team's practice facility in time for Friday's practice. He asked for privacy and wouldn't comment on the situation itself, but said he'll play Sunday "without a doubt."
"I'm ready to roll. I'm focused," he said, according to City Pages.
Peter is second in the NFL with 421 yards rushing and first in the league with five touchdowns.
The Vikings (1-3) host the Carolina Panthers (1-3) on Sunday.
"He had a difficult day. We expect him to play, but we'll talk more over the next 24 hours," head coach Leslie Frazier said on Friday.