EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson mourned the death of his young son Friday, while words of support poured in from all corners of the sports world.
Authorities said a 2-year-old boy died Friday of injuries suffered in an alleged child abuse case in South Dakota, and a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press the boy was Peterson's son.
Twenty-seven-year-old Joseph Patterson was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery in the child's death. Peterson declined to talk about the case after practice Friday, and prosecutors and police in South Dakota declined to confirm the boy was his son.
However, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed the connection to the AP on condition of anonymity because Peterson had requested privacy.
Speaking to reporters about an hour after the time of death, Peterson said he was certain he'll play Sunday against Carolina.
"Football is something I will always fall back on," Peterson said. "It gets me through tough times. Just being around the guys in here, that's what I need in my life, guys supporting me. ... Things that I go through, I've said a thousand times, it helps me play this game to a different level. I'm able to kind of release a lot of my stress through this sport, so that's what I plan on doing."
The Vikings have also announced that Matt Cassel will start at quarterback against Carolina. He helped lead the Vikings to a win over Pittsburgh in their most recent game.
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