Everyone is waiting for the ruling on Adrian Peterson's appeal, which is supposed to come down sometime next week, per Harold Henderson, the man that heard the appeal. The appeal could, potentially, clear the way for Peterson to see the field sometime in 2014.
Or not, depending on how strongly you believe ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
Even if Adrian Peterson wins appeal, there’s little belief he will play this year, per sources.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) December 7, 2014
There could be any number of reasons for this, as I mentioned the other day. The Vikings may not want to risk injury to Peterson, regardless of whether they want to keep him or trade him during this off-season. Seriously. . .Peterson suffering a serious injury during a meaningless game in December before a critical off-season for him and the team would be one of the most Vikings things one can think of, isn't it?
Also, per Mortensen, there's another aspect of this to think about as well.
If Peterson’s 6-game suspension stands, under standard protocol, the remaining 3 games would roll into 2015, barring a settlement.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) December 7, 2014
As soon as he appealed his suspension, Peterson remained on (or, more accurately, was placed back onto) the Commissioner's Exempt list (absent any precedent or protocol other than "because Roger Goodell said so"). So, he has not been serving his suspension thus far. Hence, if a ruling comes down that says his suspension has been upheld, he would not only be suspended for the final three games of this season, but for the first three games of next season as well. That would further put a dent in the ability of the Vikings to trade him for anything meaningful.
But it appears that, even if Harold Henderson does immediately reinstate Adrian Peterson, he's not going to see the field in 2014. This is all speculation, obviously, and I'm sure that this will all be met with nothing but good, well-reasoned debate and understanding.
Whenever the ruling on the appeal does come down, rest assured we will have it here for you.