Minnesota: NFL star Adrian Peterson will sit out his team`s next game after being indicted by a US grand jury on charges of child abuse, the Minnesota Vikings announced Friday.
The former league most valuable player was summoned by a grand jury in Texas, his lawyer said, reportedly on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child.
The emerging scandal comes as the sport reels from the uproar caused by a surveillance video of former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice brutally punching his now-wife in a hotel elevator.
The charges against Peterson were in connection with disciplining his 4-year-old son.
The Vikings running back allegedly hit the boy with a tree branch as a form of discipline over the summer.
The punishment allegedly resulted in multiple injuries to the boy, Houston`s CBS radio 650 said.
The Vikings said it was "in the process of gathering information regarding the legal situation," deferring questions to Peterson`s lawyer Rusty Hardin.
Hardin acknowledged that the six-time Pro Bowl honoree was the subject of an investigation and said he has been cooperating with officials.
"Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son," Hardin said. "He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in East Texas.
"Adrian has never hidden from what happened. He has cooperated fully with authorities and voluntarily testified before the grand jury for several hours," the lawyer said.
"It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury."
Peterson`s 2-year-old son died in South Dakota 11 months ago after allegedly being assaulted by a boyfriend of the boy`s mom. Peterson had only learned a couple months before the killing that he was the father of the boy.
Peterson, who is in his eighth NFL season, is one of the top running backs of all-time, rushing for 10,115 yards in his first seven years in the league.
He was deactivated for Sunday`s home opener against the New England Patriots.
Rice was cut from the Ravens and suspended indefinitely when the video surfaced months after the incident -- but he was initially hit with a two-game suspension, a punishment roundly criticized as far too lenient.
The NFL is conducting an independent investigation into its handling of the incident, as some pressed for Roger Goodell, boss of the world`s richest sports league, to resign.