Ben Goessling | ESPN.com
Peterson arrived at Mall of America Field about 2 hours and 15 minutes before Sunday’s game, greeted with a warm reception from fans.
Peterson texted a statement to Fox Sports explaining his decision to play Sunday.
“My brother passed the night before the combine and I decided to go through with it. The same reason why I will play this week,” Peterson said in the text message to Fox Sports. “You may ask why? God wants good to come from it … we mourn and grieve but heaven had the baddest welcoming party for my son. That knowledge gives me peace.
“I’m still hurt and feel the pain of life, but I’m able to function because of the peace and joy of knowing my loved ones are in a much better place.”
Peterson had said on Friday that he planned to play, adding “I’m focused and ready to go.”
But Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he planned to check in with Peterson throughout the weekend, realizing the emotions of the situation could lead to a change in plans.
However, Peterson stuck with the Vikings’ normal schedule and was put on the team’s active roster. He is third in the league with 421 rushing yards, and leads the league with five rushing touchdowns, despite the Vikings having an early bye week.
The Vikings will need Peterson to have a big day against the league’s third-best defense as they try to rebound from a 1-3 start.
The 2-year-old boy died Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D., from injuries sustained during an alleged aggravated assault, police said.
Police are not releasing the boy’s name out of respect for the family.
Joseph Patterson, 27, was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery in the child’s death. He had a court appearance Friday and was ordered held on $750,000 cash bond.
- Previously covered Vikings for St. Paul Pioneer Press
- Also covered Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild and Washington Nationals
- Twin Cities native and University of Minnesota graduate