Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Saturday, October 12, 2013
Updated: October 13, 9:46 AM ET
Adrian Peterson expected to play

ESPN.com news services

Adrian Peterson
The 2-year-old son of Adrian Peterson died Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D., police confirmed.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is expected to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, two days after the death of his 2-year-old son, a source close to the situation told ESPN.

The source provided the update on Peterson's status as of Saturday afternoon, telling ESPN's Josina Anderson, "I don't think it will change."

"There's no doubt he's going to play," the source told Anderson. "It's not going to happen where Adrian Peterson is not going to suit up for that game."

The 2-year-old boy died Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D., from injuries sustained during an alleged aggravated assault, police said.

Police are not releasing the boy's name out of respect for the family.

Before the announcement about his son's death had been made, Peterson told reporters Friday that he would play against Carolina.

But a Vikings source told Anderson on Friday that Peterson's declaration "was the emotion of the moment. That could change."

Lincoln County State's Attorney Tom Wollman confirmed the death of the child, who had been in critical condition in a hospital with severe head injuries since Wednesday. The boy died at 11:43 a.m. at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls after being removed from life support, Wollman said.

Joseph Patterson, 27, was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery in the child's death. He had a court appearance Friday and was ordered held on $750,000 cash bond.

Peterson tweeted a series of messages Friday night, thanking his family, friends, fans and fellow NFL players -- whom he referred to as "a fraternity of brothers" -- for their support.

Peterson took to Twitter again on Saturday morning, confirming that the 2-year-old was not Adrian Peterson Jr.

My son Adrian Jr. who lives w/me is healthy. Appreciate the concern. We respectfully ask to stop tweeting his pics.

— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) October 12, 2013

We are currently not posting photos of my son who passed away. Thank u for your understanding.

— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) October 12, 2013

Peterson left the team facility Friday evening. A source close to Peterson told ESPN that he would tell the five-time Pro Bowler to at least wait overnight before deciding whether to play.

Peterson is second in the NFL with 421 yards rushing and first in the league with five touchdowns. He came back from reconstructive knee surgery to rush for 2,097 yards and win the league MVP award last season.

Information from ESPN.com Vikings reporter Ben Goessling and The Associated Press was used in this report.