(NEW YORK) — Two National Football League players were deactivated on Wednesday for separate criminal accusations, and police reported assault accusations made against another.
Early Wednesday morning, the Minnesota Vikings reversed course and announced that they would place running back Adrian Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, requiring him to stay away from all team activities while he deals with an indictment on charges of child abuse stemming from what he says was discipline of at least one of his children.
An NFL spokesman called the Vikings move, “a good decision that will allow Adrian Peterson to resolve his personal situation and the Vikings to return the focus to the football field.”
Greg Hardy, a member of the Carolina Panthers, was also place on the exempt list on Wednesday. The NFL Players Association called the decision a “voluntary leave of absence.” Hardy was found guilty in July of assaulting his girlfriend and threatening to kill her. Hardy sought and was granted a new trial at the Superior Court level, as is allowed by North Carolina law.
The Phoenix Police Department released an arrest report for Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer on Wednesday. Related to a July incident, the report states that Dwyer was charged with aggravated assault causing a fracture, aggravated assault involving a minor, two counts of criminal damage, one count of preventing the use of a phone in an emergency and assault. Police say Dwyer admitted to the incidents but denied any physical assault.
After the league was criticized in recent weeks for its handling of the Ray Rice situation — initially suspending him two games after accusations of punching his now-wife, then handing down a stiffer penalty after TMZ posted video of the incident — the Arizona Cardinals acted swiftly, announcing on Wednesday night that they had immediately deactivated Dwyer from all team activities. The team said it was made aware of the allegations on Wednesday, and not in July when the incidents occurred.
Both Peterson and Hardy will receive their full salaries while on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission List.
Attorney Gloria Allred and a pair of individuals who say they themselves or a relative were victims of violence and abuse at the hands of an NFL player spoke in Georgia on Wednesday, calling for league Commissioner Roger Goodell’s resignation.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association also agreed to a new drug policy on Wednesday, approving the use of testing for human growth hormone, altering the appeals process and modifying penalties to, among other things, allow for players caught using banned stimulants during the offseason to be referred to the league’s substance abuse program. Under the new deal, Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, Dallas Cowboys safety Orlando Scandrick, and St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey will all be reinstated from suspensions, as they tested positive for stimulants during the last offseason.
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