A day after the Vikings announced that running back Adrian Peterson missed Wednesday's practice for personal reasons, Peterson confirmed that he was in Sioux Falls, S.D., attending the funeral of his 2-year-old son who died last week after he was allegedly beaten by his mother's boyfriend.
Peterson also confirmed that he had only known about the boy for two months.
"It's an unfortunate situation and I can speak on it," Peterson said Thursday, according to the StarTribune.com. "But, yeah, I found out recently that it was my son, like two months ago. I was planning on seeing him and I had talked with his mom and had gotten some things together as far as financially helping her.
"Unfortunately, this situation took place and it's devastating," he continued. "A lot of people won't ever understand the situation that I am in, to see it the way I'm seeing the situation. It's tough, but I'm able to deal with that. I got a good supporting cast around me that has been supporting me at this tough time."
Asked how he was holding up, Peterson said "I'm standing strong, I am," adding: "My main focus has been on my son and his mother and their family down there in Sioux Falls. I've just been trying to wrap my head around things and try to stay focused and play ball as well. Things have been tough, but I can handle a lot. Like I said, I'm built for anything that comes my way. This right here will pass."
There have been tabloid reports in recent days that Peterson allegedly had children by other women. He was asked Thursday if that's been difficult.
"Not at all," he said. "People are going to speculate and say this and that. I can't let that bother me. I've been too focused on trying to mourn and be there for his mother and take in the loss of my son. I haven't been able to focus on anything else outside of that."
Peterson doesn't anticipate missing more practice time and will be on the field Monday night when the Vikings face the Giants.
"When trials come in life, you can do two things. You can let it beat you up and hold you down or you can find good from it and become stronger," he said. "That's the way I've always approached tragic events and adversity in my life. So I don't see myself going downhill. I see myself improving from this."