The appeal hearing for Adrian Peterson came to an end yesterday when NFL executive Troy Vincent testified before hearing officer Harold Henderson, and a decision could come next week, according to Peter King of TheMMQB.com, who writes that the Vikings running back is “likely (but not certain)” to be reinstated.
The tidbit from King is somewhat buried in his preview of Week 14’s games, and doesn’t explicitly cite any sources, so it’s not clear if the SI scribe is actually reporting that Peterson’s suspension is expected to be lifted by Henderson or passing along rumors. At the very least, it seems to be informed speculation, considering King is one of the more plugged-in reporters in the industry.
If Peterson were to be reinstated next week, it would force the Vikings to make an interesting decision. At 5-7, Minnesota doesn’t have a realistic shot at the playoffs, and the team had been considered a good bet to release the Pro Bowl running back in the offseason due to an increasingly exorbitant cap hit. So it’s not clear if the team would activate Peterson for the final three games of the season, a move that could potentially rankle some sponsors and fans.
Before the Vikings face that decision though, we’ll have to get the official word on Peterson’s appeal. Based on how long Henderson and other arbitrators have taken to rule on various cases this year, it may be optimistic to expect a decision within the next few days, but perhaps with the season winding down, Henderson will move quickly to resolve the situation.