Reports: Adrian Peterson's Son Critically Injured

Posted at: 10/11/2013 11:45 AM
Updated at: 10/11/2013 2:38 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old son is in critical condition in a South Dakota hospital, Adrian Peterson's father confirmed Friday with the Pioneer Press.

In a brief phone interview with the Pioneer Press, his father Nelson Peterson said the injured boy is his grandson.

TMZ initially reported Friday that the child was severely beaten by his mother's boyfriend.

Adrian Peterson briefly spoke Friday to news outlets, saying he appreciated the support from fans and the Vikings staff. "This is a private matter. I'm going to ask you all to please just respect my privacy," he said.

Peterson said he would be playing in Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. "Football is something I'll always fall back on. It gets me through tough times. Being around the guys in here, that's what I need.

"One thing that I always bounce back to is the good Lord never gives you more than you can bare and you can handle," Peterson said. "I'm built tough."

According to a criminal complaint, Sioux Falls police responded to a medical emergency call Wednesday night on the 6200 block of South Connie Avenue. Police say the child was not breathing and was rushed to a local hospital with injuries that were consistent with abuse.

The boyfriend of the child’s mother, identified as 27-year-old Joseph Robert Patterson, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault, according to the complaint.

The charges said Patterson either intentionally or recklessly caused bleeding, swelling or damage to the child’s brain. This could have been caused by blows, shaking or hitting the child’s head against an object or surface.

1500 ESPN reports that Peterson was absent from Thursday’s practice for “personal reasons,” according to coach Leslie Frazier. He returned to practice on Friday.