(CBS)–The NFL says it is “moving as quickly as possible” to make a decision on potential discipline for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson under the imminent threat of an expedited grievance requesting the 2012 NFL MVP’s immediate reinstatement.
The NFL Players Association could file that grievance as soon as Monday, claiming the league isn’t honoring the agreement signed by both sides when Peterson agreed to go on the exempt list in September until his legal case was resolved, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday.
The union sent a letter Friday demanding Peterson’s reinstatement, confirmed the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss it.
The Vikings – who have not commented publicly on Peterson’s status – had a bye this weekend. Thus, the grievance is likely to come late Monday or Tuesday if the league refuses to reinstate him as preparations begin for their Nov. 16 game against the Chicago Bears.
The league reiterated Sunday morning immediate reinstatement isn’t happening.
“The agreement was for Peterson to be on paid leave until the completion of his legal proceeding at which time the matter would be reviewed for potential discipline under the Personal Conduct Policy,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told USA TODAY Sports in an email.
“No discipline would be processed until there was a resolution by the court. Following the completion of his legal proceeding we promptly requested information from Peterson and are awaiting its receipt.
“We are now into the process of the disciplinary review and are moving quickly as possible.”
Peterson, 29, pleaded no contest Tuesday to a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless assault, avoiding jail time and ending a saga that began Sept. 12, when he was indicted on a felony charge for injuring his 4-year-old son while disciplining him with a tree branch.
The NFL advised Peterson on Thursday he’ll remain on the list while it gathers information and considers discipline. Peterson also will “meet with designated experts who will make recommendations for the Commissioner’s consideration” and has the opportunity for a hearing before discipline is issued, the league said.
Peterson’s camp is expected to push back against submitting that information in part because his case file was sealed as part of his plea agreement.
This fight comes as the league mulls changes to its personal conduct policy, which the NFLPA believes should be collectively bargained. The league believes it can makes changes on its own, though it says it welcomes players’ input.
The union has proposed neutral arbitration in all matters of discipline under the personal conduct policy. For now, Commissioner Roger Goodell has sole authority to hand down discipline under the existing policy. In August, he announced enhanced penalties for violations involving domestic violence or sexual assault, including six games for a first offense and an indefinite ban for a second.
Peterson has already missed eight games but continues to be paid under terms of his agreement to go on the exempt list.