U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled in favor of Adrian Peterson on Thursday, overturning the Vikings running back’s indefinite suspension from the NFL. The running back was handed an indefinite suspension in November, but successfully argued that the league had promised to reinstate him after his child abuse case had been resolved.
“Petition to vacate the arbitration award was granted. Case was remanded for further proceedings … as the CBA may permit,” Doty said in the ruling.
The league said that it would review the judge’s decision as it related to Peterson’s reinstatement and later issued a statement that it would appeal the ruling (via Albert Breer of NFL Network):
“Judge Doty’s order did not contain any determinations concerning the fairness of the appeals process under the CBA, including the commissioner’s longstanding authority to appoint a designee to act as hearing officer. Even so, we believe strongly that Judge Doty’s order is incorrect and fundamentally at odds with well-established legal precedent governing the district court’s role in reviewing arbitration decisions.
As a result, we have filed a notice of appeal to have the ruling reviewed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the interim, Adrian Peterson will be returned to the Commissioner Exempt List pending further proceedings by appeals officer Harold Henderson or a determination by the Eighth Circuit Court.”
Peterson is not yet reinstated, but it will set in motion the opportunity to go before Henderson and the NFL again in order for him to take the next step under the CBA.