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Minnesota Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson 2 year old son was assaulted and subsequently died in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

In a story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press – Nelson Peterson, the footballer’s father – confirmed that the child is Adrian Peterson’s son. “All I can say is, we are asking for prayers and for respect for our family as we deal with this tragic situation,” Nelson Peterson said to the Pioneer Press.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, police said Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, has been charged with aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault. If convicted on the charges, both felonies, Patterson could face up to 40 years in prison and an $80,000 fine. According to police, prosecutors are considering filing additional charges against Patterson.

The Argus Leader reports that Patterson was home with the toddler while the boy’s mother was out. Patterson called 911 Wednesday night, reporting that the child had been chocking. Following a medical examination, doctors noticed injuries were consistent with abuse.

Adrian Peterson, returned to practice on Friday and told reporters that, “without a doubt,” he will play on Sunday. He said, that it’s “private matter.” I will ask you all to please just respect my privacy.”

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