Adrian Peterson returned to Vikings practice Thursday after attending the funeral of a 2-year-old son one day earlier in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Peterson visited the boy in the hospital last week, and the child died the next day from injuries sustained in an assault that police say was committed by the boyfriend of the child’s mother.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Peterson said. “I found out recently that he was my son, like two months ago. I was planning on seeing him. I had a talk with his mom, and we got some things together as far as financially helping her.
“Unfortunately this situation took place. It’s devastating. A lot of people won’t ever understand the situation that I’m in and see it the way I’m seeing the situation. It’s tough, but I’m able to deal with that and got a good supporting cast around me that’s been supporting me through this tough time.”
Peterson said he hasn’t paid attention to celebrity website reports that allege he’s had other children with multiple women.
“People are going to speculate,” he said. “People are going to 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.
“My main focus has been on my son and their family down there in Sioux Falls. Just trying to wrap my head around things and trying to stay focused and play ball as well. So things have been tough, but I can handle a lot. I’m built for anything that comes my way. This right here will pass.”
Peterson added: “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 situations or adversity in my life. I don’t see myself going downhill. I see myself improving from this.”
Peterson was listed on the injury report because of a hamstring issue. He was limited in practice.
Monitoring Big Kevin
In training camp, coach Leslie Frazier said the team preferred to limit veteran defensive tackle Kevin Williams’ playing time to 30-40 snaps per game. The Vikings wanted to avoid overworking the 11-year veteran while giving rookie first-round pick Sharrif Floyd time to adjust to the NFL.
Williams missed the season opener in Detroit because of a knee injury, but he’s played 51, 52 and 51 snaps the previous three games.
“I don’t know if we want him to do that the entire season,” Frazier said. “We’ve just got to keep bringing Sharrif along and getting Sharrif some of those snaps. For us, it probably wouldn’t be the best thing if [Williams] has to play 50-plus snaps. We’ll keep bringing Sharrif along. Kevin is having a very good season for us, a solid season, which helps us a lot.”
Floyd played 42 snaps in the opener and struggled after missing most of the preseason because of a knee injury. He has not played more than 27 snaps in the past four games, but Frazier said he sees signs of progress. The team has credited Floyd with 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups and three quarterback hurries.
“The game has slowed down for him,” Frazier said. “He’s beginning to get more penetration for us and getting closer to being exactly what we all hoped for.
‘‘He’s doing a very good job of separating from blocks. He’s doing a lot of things better than he did two or three weeks ago. That’s encouraging because that means he’ll just keep getting better.”
• Kicker Blair Walsh (hamstring) and cornerback A.J. Jefferson (ankle) did not practice while Peterson, Williams (knee), cornerback Xavier Rhodes (hamstring) and wide receiver Jarius Wright (ankle) were limited.
• The Vikings promoted receiver Rodney Smith from the practice squad to replace linebacker Desmond Bishop, who was placed on injured reserve after tearing an ACL. The team signed safety Brandan Bishop to the practice squad.