CONROE, Texas — Adrian Peterson is hoping to go to trial as soon as possible. Whether the running back for the Vikings returns to the playing field any time soon is another question entirely.
A judge on Wednesday set a tentative Dec. 1 trial date for Peterson to face a felony charge of child abuse after using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son in suburban Houston this year.
Defense attorney Rusty Hardin said after the hearing that Peterson is "champing at the bit" to defend himself publicly.
But the case might not be tried before the end of the year, meaning Peterson — who is on paid leave from the team — may not be back on the field this season. The Vikings' final regular-season game is Dec. 28.
The trial date might change, too: Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said he intends to file a motion to recuse Judge Kelly Case after the judge used a vulgar term to say each lead attorney sought media attention. Case apologized, saying the comment was meant as a joke. A Nov. 4 hearing was scheduled on whether to assign a new judge.
Peterson has said he never intended to harm his son and was only disciplining him in the same way he had been as a child growing up in East Texas.
Peterson charity: The running back took to Twitter Tuesday to try and knock down a Minneapolis Star Tribune report that alleged some donations listed as being spent by his charity were never received. Peterson blamed incidents in 2009 that included a gift of $70,000 that the purported donor said was never received on an accountant's typo. He said that while a Maryland organization contacted by the paper denied receiving any money, the gift went to a California organization of the same name. "There is no question that prior to 2011, issues existed with the administration of Adrian's foundation. When this was brought to his attention, Adrian made changes to the organization and brought in new leadership," Hardin said in a statement.
Bengals: Receiver A.J. Green left practice during warmups after aggravating his injured right big toe. Green has been bothered by the injury since the season opener. He missed most of a game against Atlanta the following week, but has played in the last two.
owners meeting: Owners spent five hours in New York discussing the league's personal conduct policy, domestic violence and discipline for misbehavior. "We had a tremendous focus today on our approach to social responsibility," commissioner Roger Goodell said. "What we need to do, potential changes, how to make them more effective, make decisions on a more timely basis." After approving the sale of the Bills to Terry and Kim Pegula in the morning, the owners listened to a presentation on domestic violence that included a video by former player Joe Ehrmann appealing for recognition and action. He beseeches viewers to imagine what it would be like to see a loved one being subjected to abuse. He then urges intervention to curb such behavior.