Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been suspended for the rest of the season without pay, the NFL announced on Tuesday.
According to a letter sent by Commissioner Roger Goodell to Peterson, he will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15, 2015, for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
In September, Peterson was indicted on a felony charge of injury to a child for using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son earlier in the year. Goodell placed Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission List, which has forced the former Oklahoma running back to miss six games this season.
“The timing of your potential reinstatement will be based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in this decision," Goodell stated in his letter. "Under this two-step approach, the precise length of the suspension will depend on your actions. We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement. You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.”
Peterson pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of misdemeanor reckless assault earlier this month. With the legal side of the incident taken care of, Peterson was under assumption he would be allowed back on the field. The NFL had other ideas.
The #Vikings, who had been unsure about bringing Adrian Peterson back immediately, say "We respect the league’s decision."— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 18, 2014
"You have shown no meaningful remorse for your conduct," Goodell's letter stated. "When indicted, you acknowledged what you did but said that you would not ‘eliminate whooping my kids’ and defended your conduct in numerous published text messages to the child’s mother. You also said that you felt ‘very confident with my actions because I know my intent.’ These comments raise the serious concern that you do not fully appreciate the seriousness of your conduct, or even worse, that you may feel free to engage in similar conduct in the future. ... Any further violation of the Personal Conduct Policy will result in additional discipline and may subject you to banishment from the NFL.”
Peterson will lose more than $4 million by missing the rest of the 2014 season.
The NFL Players Association also released a statement announcing that it will appeal Peterson's suspension.
"The decision by the NFL to suspend Adrian Peterson is another example of the credibility gap that exists between the agreements they make and the actions they take," the union's letter stated. "Since Adrian’s legal matter was adjudicated, the NFL has ignored its obligations and attempted to impose a new and arbitrary disciplinary proceeding. The facts are that Adrian has asked for a meeting with Roger Goodell, the discipline imposed is inconsistent and an NFL executive told Adrian that his time on the Commissioner’s list would be considered as time served."