Now, according to TMZ, Peterson's two-year-old son is in critical condition in a South Dakota hospital after he was allegedly beaten by the man dating the boy's mother.
Officials told TMZ the suspect is Joseph Patterson, who has been charged with aggravated felony assault and battery of an infant.
Authorities haven't confirmed that the child is Peterson's son (and at least one report says it isn't).
Details via the Argus Leader:
The child was alone in Patterson's home at Platinum Valley Apartments, where he'd recently moved with his mother. Patterson called 911 to report a choking on Wednesday evening, but Lt. Blaine Larsen of the Sioux Falls Police Department said it became clear at the hospital that the boy's injuries were not accidental. ...
The child was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he remained in critical condition Thursday night, Larsen said. An examination led doctors to suspect that the boy's injuries were “consistent with abuse” and not accidental, Larsen said.
Patterson has a son with another Sioux Falls, SD, woman who, according to court records, had asked for protection orders twice, claiming that Patterson had choked and punched her, threatened her with a knife and held her in the bedroom against her will.
According to the Leader, the assault-on-an-infant charge "involves blows, shaking or causing a child's head to sustain impact with an object in a manner that causes bleeding or swelling on the brain. The crime is punishable by up to 25 years in prison."
Peterson returned to Eden Prairie, MN, and is expected to be at practice Friday, according to ESPN.