Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said he missed Wednesday's practice to attend the funeral of his 2-year-old son in Sioux Falls, S.D. He also said he doesn't anticipate having to miss any more practice time and that he's been too focused on the death of his son and helping his son's mother to pay attention to the tabloid headlines and stories that have surfaced in recent days about him allegedly having additional children by other women.
Asked if that's been hard to deal with, Peterson said, "Not at all. People are going to speculate and say this and that. I can't let that bother me. I've been too focused on trying to mourn and be there for his mother and take in the loss of my son. I haven't been able to focus on anything else outside of that."
Peterson also confirmed reports that he didn't learn about the 2-year-old boy in South Dakota until recently. Peterson visited the boy in the hospital last Thursday. The boy died a day later from injuries suffered in the alleged beating he got from the boyfriend of the boy's mother.
"It's an unfortunate situation and I can speak on it," Peterson said. "But, yeah, I found out recently that it was my son, like two months ago. I was planning on seeing him and I had talked with his mom and had gotten some things together as far as financially helping her. Unfortunately, this situation took place and it's devastating. A lot of people won't ever understand the situation that I am in, to see it the way I'm seeing the situation. It's tough, but I'm able to deal with that. I got a good supporting cast around me that has been supporting me at this tough time."
Peterson also was asked how he's holding up.
"I'm standing strong, I am," he said. "My main focus has been on my son and his mother and their family down there in Sioux Falls. I've just been trying to wrap my head around things and try to stay focused and play ball as well. Things have been tough, but I can handle a lot. Like I said, I'm built for anything that comes my way. This right here will pass."
Asked if he thinks his play will be affected by what he'd going through, Peterson said: "When trials come in life, you can do two things. You can let it beat you up and hold you down or you can find good from it and become stronger. That's the way I've always approached tragic events and adversity in my life. So i don't see myself going downhill. I see myself improving from this."