Police in Sioux Falls, S.D., said on Friday that a 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson died from injuries sustained in an alleged assault by the boyfriend of the child's mother, mulitple media outlets reported.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune first reported the child's death, and it was confirmed by Reuters.
Peterson returned to practice Friday, but did not directly address reports regarding his son.
Peterson missed practice Thursday to deal with a medical issue involving a young family member.
"I really appreciate all the support that I've been receiving from fans, the Vikings organization," Peterson said. "This is a private matter and I would ask you all to please just respect my privacy and not ask at all about the situation at hand. Thanks. Appreciate it."
Peterson said he will definitely play Sunday's game against the visiting Carolina Panthers.
Peterson's father, Nelson Peterson, told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press earlier Friday that the child is one of Peterson's sons.
Peterson's 2-year-old son was reportedly rushed to a hospital and medical experts determined the injuries were consistent with abuse.
Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, was being held on bail set at $750,000 in cash at the Minnehaha County Jail. He was charged with aggravated assault and battery of an infant.
---Quarterback Matt Cassel will start for the Minnesota Vikings against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, coach Leslie Frazier confirmed.
Christian Ponder returned to practice this week following a rib injury that sidelined him for the Vikings' last game, but Cassel was expected to start after leading Minnesota to its first victory of the season two weeks ago in London.
Josh Freeman, signed Monday, is still getting acclimated to the playbook and isn't likely to be active Sunday.
---Chicago Bears linebacker D.J. Williams suffered a ruptured left pectoralis muscle tendon during Thursday's game against the New York Giants and will miss the rest of the season, the team announced.
Rookie Jon Bostic replaced Williams against the Giants.
---The Jacksonville Jaguars ruled out quarterback Blaine Gabbert and four other players for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.
Gabbert strained his left hamstring in the third quarter of last Sunday's 34-20 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
Chad Henne, who filled in for Gabbert after he was hurt, will start.
---Denver Broncos veteran cornerback Champ Bailey will make his season debut Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Bailey has been out since injuring his left foot during the Aug. 17 preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.
---New York Jets tight end Kellen Winslow has been suspended four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.
What substance Winslow tested positive for wasn't immediately known.
---Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie did not participate in Friday's practice after suffering a non-contact injury to his knee the previous day and is officially listed as questionable.
Wide receiver Santonio Holmes was ruled out against Pittsburgh due to foot and hamstring injuries.
--- Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick practiced fully on Friday, and there remains an outside chance he will start this week's game.
Vick, who suffered a hamstring injury last week, is still listed as questionable by the Eagles. It may be a game-time decision.
---The New England Patriots still have not cleared tight end Rob Gronkowski to play, despite optimism earlier in the week that he could return this Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
---A third Tampa Bay Buccaneers player was diagnosed with an MRSA infection, the team announced.
Multiple media outlets reported that cornerback Johnthan Banks is the latest player infected.
Kicker Lawrence Tynes and guard Carl Nicks were previously diagnosed with MRSA, which is a type of staph infection resistant to some antibiotics.
---Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is no longer affiliated with the charter school he co-founded after a confrontation that occurred this week with a school employee.
Prime Prep Academy superintendent Rachel King-Sanders posted a statement on the school's website that Sanders "is no longer an employee or representative" of the school. Sanders coached at the school and performed other duties.
Police in Dallas are investigating a claim that Sanders assaulted a school employee during a faculty meeting Wednesday.
--Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was listed as questionable, although coach Pete Carroll indicated he expects Lynch to play against Tennessee on Sunday despite a hip injury.
Tight end Zach Miller (hamstring) is also listed as questionable, and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is doubtful with an ankle injury.
--Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is expected to be a game-day decision for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns due to the swollen knee that sidelined him last week.