A federal judge on Thursday overturned an appeal ruling made against suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, potentially opening the door for him to be reinstated earlier than expected.
The NFL, following another public rebuke over the discipline of one of its players, said it will appeal the decision made by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty, sending the case to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The NFL returned Peterson to the commissioner's exempt list pending further proceedings with the arbitrator who ruled against the running back in December or a determination by the 8th Circuit Court.
Peterson was initially placed on the exempt list after he was charged with hitting his 4-year-old son with a tree branch in May.
After reaching a plea agreement in the case, Peterson was suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in November for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
The suspension was based on a more stringent player conduct policy that was agreed upon after the actions that led to the charges against Peterson.
The union then filed a federal lawsuit, leading to Doty's ruling on Thursday to have Henderson's ruling vacated.
The union called the decision "a victory for the rule of law, due process and fairness."
Under terms of his suspension, Peterson will be considered for reinstatement as of April 15. His future with the Vikings is considered unclear, though the team said in a statement on Thursday that its focus is on welcoming him back when he's eligible to return.