The Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson traveled to Sioux Falls, S.D., Thursday for "personal reasons" as reports stated that a young boy who may be his son was critically injured Wednesday.
Peterson, the NFL's reigning most valuable player, was expected back at practice Friday and may address the media about his absence. The Argus-Leader reported that authorities refused to confirm that Peterson
was the injured child's father because he was not part of its investigation.
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The Argus-Leader quoted Sean Jensen, a contributor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, that the child is Peterson's, according to Peterson's father. The newspaper said that Peterson was seen in Sioux Falls Thursday.
The 2-year-old boy remained in critical condition Friday, while Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, remained in custody on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated assault on an infant, the Argus-Leader said.
Authorities told the newspaper that the infant was alone in Patterson’s apartment where he had recently moved with his mother. Lt. Blaine Larsen, with the Sioux Falls Police Department, told the Argus-Leader that Patterson initially called 911 to report a choking Wednesday evening, but it became clear at the hospital that the boy’s injuries were not accidental.
The newspaper reported in another incident, a woman, the mother of Patterson's child, asked for protection orders against him twice, in 2010 and 2011, claiming he choked and punched her, threatened her with a knife and held her in the bedroom against her will.
A source told Minneapolis City Pages that Peterson had only learned recently about his paternity
of the Sioux Fall child, born with a woman he had a casual relationship with when she lived in Minneapolis.
The source told the Minneapolis City Pages that Peterson is not identified as the father on the birth certificate of the child and the boy goes by his mother's last name.
In his seventh season in the NFL, the former University of Oklahoma star bounced back from a serious knee injury to rush for 2,097 yards in claiming the league's most valuable player honors.
His 9,270 career yards are second most among active NFL players.
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