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Vikings announce Adrian Peterson will play Sunday as NFL hires domestic violence experts

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Adrian Peterson - Updated 4/16 -
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Vikings announce Adrian Peterson will play Sunday as NFL hires domestic violence experts
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 30: A fan holds up a sign in support of Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings during the third quarter of the game against the Carolina Panthers on November 30, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Panthers 31-13. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
CONROE, TX - NOVEMBER 04: Football running back Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings arrives for a court hearing on charges of child abuse with his wife Ashley Brown at the Montgomery County Courthouse on November 4, 2014 in Conroe, Texas. Peterson entered a no contest plea and will avoid jail time. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
CONROE, TX - NOVEMBER 04: NFL running back Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings addresses the media after pleading 'no contest' to a lesser misdemeanor charge of reckless assault November 4, 2014 in Conroe, Texas. Peterson's plea to the Class A misdemeanor comes with two years of deferred adjudication. Peterson also received a $4,000 fine and 80 hours of required community service. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
CONROE, TX - NOVEMBER 04: Defense attorney Rusty Hardin, (L) and NFL running back Adrian Peterson of the of the Minnesota Vikings address the media after Peterson plead 'no contest' to a lesser misdemeanor charge of reckless assault on November 4, 2014 in Conroe, Texas. Peterson's plea to the Class A misdemeanor comes with two years of deferred adjudication. Peterson also received a $4,000 fine and 80 hours of required community service. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
CONROE, TX - OCTOBER 08: NFL player Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings walks with his wife Ashley Brown to a court appearance at the Montgomery County municipal building on October 8, 2014 in Conroe, Texas. Peterson did not enter a plea, and after about an hour in the courtroom the hearing was reset. A tentative trial date was set for Dec. 1. Petersen is facing charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
CONROE, TX - OCTOBER 08: A fan wears a wildcat suit in support of NFL player Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings as Petersen prepares to arrive at a court appearance at the Lee G. Alworth Building and the Montgomery County 9th District Court in Conroe, Texas on October 8, 2014 in Conroe, Texas. Peterson did not enter a plea, and after about an hour in the courtroom the hearing was reset. A tentative trial date was set for Dec. 1. Petersen is facing charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
CONROE, TX - OCTOBER 08: NFL player Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings enters the courtroom with his wife Ashley Brown and his attorney Rusty Hardin (R) at the Lee G. Alworth Building and the Montgomery County 9th District Court on October 8, 2014 in Conroe, Texas. Petersen is facing charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
CONROE, TX - OCTOBER 08: NFL player Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings chats with his attorney Rusty Hardin (R) during a court appearance at the Lee G. Alworth Building and the Montgomery County 9th District Court on October 8, 2014 in Conroe, Texas. Peterson did not enter a plea, and after about an hour in the courtroom the hearing was reset. A tentative trial date was set for Dec. 1. Petersen is facing charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 28: Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on August 28, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 7: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings rushes during a game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 7, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
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By RYAN GORMAN

The Minnesota Vikings announced beleaguered running back Adrian Peterson will play this Sunday – at virtually the same time the NFL announced the formation of a domestic violence task force.

The team released a statement Monday morning announcing Peterson's availability within minutes of the league announcing the appointment of three women as domestic violence advisors.

Peterson "will fully participate in this week's practices and meetings and is expected to play this Sunday in New Orleans," said the team.

The shock announcement came only two days after the star player turned himself in to face a child abuse charge. Peterson was indicted Friday by a Texas jury on charges that he used a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son.

The eyebrow-raising statement came as the NFL Network was reporting Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith were hired to help create more comprehensive policies surrounding domestic violence and sex crimes.

Embattled NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a league-wide memo obtained by Politico that this is only the first step towards addressing issues the league has.

"We are continuing to develop our organization to strengthen our ability to address the wide range of issues we face and other changes in our office will be announced soon," said the commissioner.

"We will work closely with your community relations, human resources and player engagement teams to implement programs in a way that is effective and beneficial for your own employees, their families and your communities," Goodell continued. "Needless to say, our entire office will be accountable for the success of these efforts and Anna and her team will have my full support."

Friel notably headed up the Manhattan District Atorney's sex crimes unit for nearly a decade, until she was forced to step down for discussing upcoming cases during a 2011 HBO documentary, according to TMZ.

Randel is the co-founder of dmoestic violence and sex assault advocacy group NO MORE and Smith was previously the executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said in the statement posted to the team's website that bringing back Peterson was done to "allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action.

"This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing"

Goodell has not commented publicly on Peterson's reinstatement but does have the power to suspend Peterson indefinitely as he did former Ravens tailback Ray Rice.

The Vikings were blown out 30-7 this weekend by the New England Patriots while without Peterson, widely regarded as the best running back in the NFL.

An upcoming road match-up against the high-powered New Orleans Saints likely also factored into the decision.

Players, Fans React to Peterson's Absence
Related links:
Minnesota Vikings fan seen at game wearing Adrian Peterson jersey while carrying a switch
Majority of Americans want NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson indicted on child abuse charges
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