Adrian Peterson has been reinstated by Minnesota Vikings despite the running back facing charges of allegedly hitting his child with a tree branch.
The 29-year-old was arrested last week and released on bail but was left out of a Vikings game on Sunday.
"We believe he deserves to play while the legal process plays out," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said.
Peterson said he was disciplining his four-year-old and did not intend to injure him.
The incident took place in May 2014 and Peterson could be jailed for two years if found guilty.
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"I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen," Peterson said in a statement.
"I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child.
"I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate."
Peterson missed the Vikings' 30-7 loss to New England Patriots at the weekend but is now available for Sunday's game at New Orleans Saints.
"No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him," added Peterson, who was the NFL's most valuable player in 2012.
Hotel chain Radisson has suspended its sponsorship of Minnesota Vikings as a result of the charges.
The Peterson controversy is the latest in the NFL and comes after Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of running back Ray Rice following the release of a video appearing to show him punching his wife.