A spokesman for the Sioux Falls Police Department said the death resulted from injuries sustained in an assault committed by 27-year-old Joseph Patterson, the boyfriend of the child's mother.
Peterson has asked for privacy while he mourns the death of his son, but graciously extended his heartfelt gratitude via Twitter to all those who've passed along their blessings.
Thank you to my family, my fans and fans of other teams for their support.— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) October 11, 2013
"I'll be ready to roll, focused," Peterson told the Argus Leader on Friday. "I will be playing Sunday, without a doubt."
"Football is something I will always fall back on," Peterson added. "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."
This is the second straight year the Panthers will play in a game clouded by tragedy.
Last year, Ron Rivera's team played the Kansas City Chiefs just a day after linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend, drove to Arrowhead Stadium and then turned the gun on himself in front of former head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli.
"It's absolutely terrible. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family, and hopefully things work out," Rivera said.
Panthers 101 would like to pay its respects to Adrian Peterson, his family and all the victims of this unspeakable tragedy.
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