NFL player Adrian Peterson's son has died from injuries reportedly sustained in an assault. News broke Friday morning that the 2-year-old had been admitted to a Sioux Falls, SD, hospital after allegedly being beaten by a 27-year-old man who has dated the child’s mother and had been caring for him. This afternoon, local police confirmed to several media outlets that the toddler passed away after being in critical condition, and the man, identified as Joseph Robert Patterson, was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery on an infant. Although early reports named the victim as Adrian Jr. — who's regularly seen with the football star — Nelson Peterson, father of the Minnesota Vikings running back then confirmed that the child is Peterson's son but is not Adrian Peterson Jr.
Before the death of his son was announced to this public, Adrian Peterson told reporters on Friday that he would "without a doubt" be playing in this Sunday's Vikings game against the Carolina Panthers and released multiple statements via Twitter, saying, "I really appreciate all the support that I've been receiving from fans, the Vikings organization. This is a private matter and I would ask you all to please just respect my privacy and not ask at all about the situation at hand." He went on to say:
The NFL is a fraternity of brothers and I am thankful for the tweets, phone calls and text messages from my fellow players.— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) October 11, 2013
—Additional reporting by Laura Marie Meyers