Adrian Peterson discusses tragedy and triumph on E:60 feature
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Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was the focus of an E:60 feature that ESPN aired on Tuesday night.
Among other topics, the future Hall of Famer discussed the death of his two-year old son that he had never met and didn't find out existed until he was told during training camp in August.
ESPN reporter Lisa Salters interviewed Peterson, who has battled through multiple tragedies in his otherwise triumphant life.
"It's been tough, but I'm a strong individual," Peterson told Salters, who then asked if he ever got to see his son.
"That's the tough part. I had pictures, I did get to talk with his mother. I was arranging to go down to see him," Peterson said. "It's something I have to live with the rest of my life, first time seeing my son and he's gone."
"I said I was sorry. I told him I love him and I miss him."
Peterson would play two days later against the Carolina Panthers and said he's used football to battle through tragedies his entire life. At a young age, his older step-brother Brian was struck and killed by a drunk driver. Years later after Peterson had joined his school's football team, his father, Nelson Peterson, was arrested and pled guilty to laundering drug money. He was sentenced to 10 years.
Peterson went on to relive his broken clavicle during his senior season at the University of Oklahoma. After months of being labeled injury prone, his half-brother Chris called to leave him some words of encouragement before the NFL Combine the following year. Peterson awoke the morning of the combine to a phone call that Chris had been carjacked and gunned down in Houston, Peterson's hometown.
"I try not to ask why," Peterson said.
He went out to run a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, the second-fastest time for running backs at the 2007 NFL Combine. The Vikings selected Peterson seventh overall just a couple of months later.
Peterson said he uses football to escape life's troubles and release stress, but when he tore his ACL and MCL near the end of the 2011 season, his release valve was taken away from him.
"The worst part [of recovery] was the pain," Peterson said. "I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy."
Diagnosed to be out a full year, Peterson didn't miss a game in 2012 as he returned in nine months to rush for 2,097 yards, the second-most among running backs for a single season.
"I try not to ask why," Peterson said again. "I focus on the positive things and try to make the best of it all."