MINNEAPOLIS -- Adrian Peterson suited up for Minnesota's game against Carolina on Sunday, as he promised.
One of the star running back's sons, a 2-year-old in South Dakota, died Friday of head injuries. Joseph Patterson, 27, the boyfriend of the child's mother, has been charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery.
Peterson declined to speak specifically about the situation following practice that day but reiterated the comfort he's found from the game over a number of tragic and challenging circumstances in his life.
"Football is something I will always fall back on. It gets me through tough times. Just being around the guys in here, that's what I need in my life, guys supporting me," Peterson said, adding: "Things that I go through, I've said a thousand times, it helps me play this game to a different level. I'm able to kind of release a lot of my stress through this sport, so that's what I plan on doing."
Also active for the Vikings is kicker Blair Walsh, who was listed as questionable because of hamstring tightness. Punter Jeff Locke was put on notice as the emergency replacement. The rest of the inactives for the Vikings are new quarterback Josh Freeman, safety Mistral Raymond, linebackers Gerald Hodges and Audie Cole, defensive tackle Chase Baker, defensive end Justin Trattou and guard Jeff Baca.
Christian Ponder is the backup to Matt Cassel for the second straight game at quarterback. Desmond Bishop is also listed as the starter at weak side linebacker, ahead of Marvin Mitchell for the first time this year.
Inactives for the Panthers are wide receiver Marvin McNutt, cornerbacks D.J. Moore and Josh Norman, running back Kenjon Barner, safety Robert Lester, guard Amini Silatolu and defensive tackle Dwan Edwards.
Silatolu is the second starting guard lost to injury this season for Carolina. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last week in a loss to Arizona.
Colin Cole starts for the third straight game in place of Edwards, who has a hamstring injury. Lester, who started the last two games in place of Quintin Mikell, has a hamstring injury, too. Mikell is out with an ankle injury.