Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said he hasn't let tabloid headlines get to him following the death of his 2-year-old son, but confirmed he missed practice on Wednesday to attend the funeral in Sioux Falls, S.D.
"People are going to speculate, people are going to say this and that and I can't let that bother me. I've been too focused on trying to mourn and be there for his mother and take in the loss of my son. I haven't been able to focus on anything else outside of that," he said.
Peterson also confirmed he found out the boy was his son about 2 months ago. Tyrese Robert Ruffin died of injuries suffered in an alleged beating by his mother's boyfriend last week.
"I was planning on seeing him and I had talked to his mom and we got some things together as far as financially helping her," Peterson said. "Unfortunately, this situation took place and it's devastating."
He doesn't, however, see the tragedy impacting his game.
"Trials come in life. You can do two things, you can let it beat you up and hold you down or you can find good from it and become stronger. That's the way I've always approached tragic events and adversity in my life. I don't see myself going downhill, I see myself improving from this."
He also said his fellow teammates and the Vikings organization have supported him throughout the ordeal.
"I can't tell you how many calls I've gotten, texts, from the guys up top in the organization and the players just making sure that I'm ok," Peterson said.