Adrian Peterson could be on the field for Sunday's game against the Packers if his grievance hearing goes well this afternoon.
Independent arbitrator Shyam Das will hear arguments from Peterson's representatives and the NFL during a conference call set for 1 p.m. today. Then Das has until Saturday to rule on Peterson's claim that he should have been reinstated immediately after pleading no contest to reckless assault November 4. Peterson accepted the misdemeanor charge instead of taking a felony child abuse charge to trial.
It's hard to see how the Vikings' star stays off the field if Das rules in favor of Peterson -- unless the team doesn't want him to return. Do the Vikings want to deal with the potential public relations fallout that could stem from bringing Peterson back? The team released a statement last week after Peterson filed his appeal that said absolutely nothing:
"In regards to Adrian Peterson's status with the Minnesota Vikings, at this time his potential reinstatement is under NFL guidelines. As an organization, we respect and understand the league's process. In the interim, our focus is on the team and preparing for this weekend's game against the Bears."
An online Star Tribune poll of more than 22,000 people found 72 percent of fans want Peterson to return.
The NFL could still suspend Peterson because he hasn't faced disciplinary action for his reckless assault charge. Instead he's spent eight weeks on the seldom-used Commissioner's Exempt list, where he still gets paid.
Even if Peterson is suspended it will be subject to appeal, and players are allowed to stay active while appeals play out.
Pretty easy to see Peterson back on the field vs. GB next week. He wins grievance, NFL levies suspension, he appeals and plays in meantime.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 17, 2014
Another scenario is that the NFL suspends him and applies the suspension retroactively toward some part of the time he's already spent on the Commissioner's Exempt list.