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Vikings reinstate Adrian Peterson for Sunday’s game

PLUS: Peterson releases his own statement; Franken’s lead widens; Michelle MacDonald’s trial begins; and more.

Adrian Peterson
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sport

He’ll play. ESPN reports, “The Minnesota Vikings announced Monday that running back Adrian Peterson will return to practices and meetings this week and is expected to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. … [Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement], “We believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action. This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing. Currently we believe we are at a juncture where the most appropriate next step is to allow the judicial process to move forward.”

Peterson himself also released a statement. Matt Vensel and Master Tesfatsion of the Strib write, “Peterson issued a statement, saying in part: “I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury. No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day.”

Also in the Strib, Patrick Reusse says, “Adrian Peterson is a knothead. He has proven that with idiotic comments through the years, such as comparing NFL players to ‘slaves,’ and suggesting he has no trouble with gay people as long as he doesn’t wind up in a locker-room shower at the same time. … Peterson lost me a year ago, when he accepted condolences from NFL players and the public after the death of a son as if he had spent countless hours tickling that 2-year-old under the chin. Within a couple of days, we found out Peterson had never met the child … never made the short drive from Mankato to Sioux Falls last summer, after finding out he was the dad. My reaction was, ‘It’s official. Our hero Adrian is a fraud.’”

In Slate, Amanda Hess continues the reaction to Peterson’s beating of his four year-old son … . “In cases of domestic abuse, violence and love don’t just exist under the same roof; they work in tandem. If [Darnell] Dockett and [Mark] Ingram Jr. had come away with alternate conclusions about the motivations and fallout of their parents’ discipline — ‘It was all hate though’; ‘I hate both my parents’ —they would not be defending Peterson today. Appealing to love allows abusers to maintain control over their victims far after they leave the home and serves to perpetuate the violence across generations. Few abusers are wholly evil people who openly hate their kids and seek to raise them exactly the wrong way.”

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Still in a football mode. The AP says, “The former Minnesota State, Mankato football player who made a remarkable recovery after he was gravely injured in a bar fight last May has suffered a seizure. Isaac Kolstad was taken to the emergency room on Friday night where doctors diagnosed him with epilepsy. His wife, Molly Kolstad, wrote on his CaringBridge website that he wasn’t injured during the episode and will take medication to control the seizures long term.”

In other scandals: Emily Gurnon of the PiPress writes, “More than half the tenured faculty members of the University of St. Thomas theology department have sent an open letter to Archbishop John Nienstedt insisting the ‘pastoral state of the archdiocese is not sustainable’ without significant changes. ‘The people of God rightly expect bishops to be good stewards of the Lord’s household,’ said the letter, sent to Nienstedt on Friday and distributed publicly Monday morning. ‘Recent events have shown how badly the pastoral leadership of the archdiocese has failed to meet those expectations.’ … The letter does not call for Nienstedt’s resignation; Assistant Professor of Theology Massimo Faggioli said Monday that the group is not taking a position on that matter.”  Best to wait for more evidence.

For The Hill, Peter Sullivan looks at the latest Minnesota Poll on the Franken-McFadden race and says, “The poll finds that Franken leads 49 percent to 36 percent among likely voters. The race was always somewhat of a stretch for Republicans in blue-leaning Minnesota, but this poll indicates Franken’s lead is widening. Previous recent polls tended to give Franken a lead in the high single digits. … Fifty-five percent said Franken has ‘focused on issues that are most important to Minnesotans,’ while 37 percent said he had not.”

A real 1 percenter problem: owning too many pro sports teams. Joe Yerdon of SB Nation says, “If you thought the party to buy the New York Islanders was already crowded, according to the New York Post there’s one more person looking to crash. The Post reports Phil Falcone, a hedge fund investor and co-owner of the Minnesota Wild, is looking to dump his share in the Wild and wants to invest in the Islanders. Falcone’s interest may stem from his friendship with soon-to-be Islanders owner Jon Ledecky.”

Meanwhile, Michelle MacDonald’s trial has begun. Marino Eccher of the PiPress says, “MacDonald goes to trial Monday on drunken driving charges from a 2013 Rosemount traffic stop. MacDonald, 52, also faces charges for refusing a blood-alcohol test and obstructing the legal process. She maintains her innocence and her attorney has said he will call a witness who will exonerate her.” Who’s he going to call? The Lord Almighty?

Oops. I missed this one this morning. Tom Scheck at MPR reports, “A national comedian announced this weekend that he’s going to work to defeat Minnesota Republican Congressman John Kline in the November election. Bill Maher made the announcement on his HBO program Friday night after running the so-called ‘Flip a District’ contest. He said his viewers picked [Second District Cong. John] Kline over 16 other Republicans because Kline backs for-profit colleges that Maher said result in high student debt. ‘The living embodiment of legislation for hire,’ Maher said as he announced Kline as the winner. ‘The Men’s Wearhouse of empty suits. From Minnesota’s 2nd District, come on down, John Kline!’”