Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has always had the ability to perform well through distractions, and he played pretty well through one of the most tragic personal issues possible on Sunday.
Peterson had 62 yards on 10 carries, playing two days after his two-year-old son died from injuries consistent with abuse. The boyfriend of the mother of Peterson's son is being held in connection with the case.
The Vikings as a team didn't play as well as the NFL's reigning MVP. They lost 35-10 to Carolina at home. Panthers players lined up to offer Peterson condolences after the game.
"I was set on it, man," Peterson said after the game, according to Sean Jensen of the Pioneer Press.
"I want people to understand my mindset. Any bad I try to take good from it. That’s the way I approach life. I never thought about not playing. It was all about going out there and praying that I have the strength to get through. That was my focus."
Peterson has played through difficult personal issues before, and also performed at the NFL's scouting combine the day after his brother died, something he alluded to in a pregame text message to Fox Sports explaining his reasons for playing on Sunday:
"My brother passed the night before the combine and I decided to go through with it. The same reason why I will play this week. You may ask why? God wants good to come from it ... We mourn and grieve but heaven had the baddest welcoming party for my son. That knowledge gives me peace. I'm still hurt and feel the pain of life, but I'm able to function because of the peace and joy of knowing my loved ones are in a much better place."
Peterson didn't get too many carries after the Vikings fell far behind, but he played well, especially considering the circumstances.