Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement from the NFL after a judge overturned Adrian Peterson’s indefinite suspension Thursday, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. Hardy is currently sitting on the commissioner’s permission/exempt list after being convicted on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in July 2014.
Hardy appealed and had his case dismissed earlier this February. He was never technically under suspension — the exempt list amounts to a paid leave of absence — but he may still face punishment by the NFL for the 2015 season. Hardy is currently the subject of an independent investigation by the league into whether he violated the league’s personal conduct policy.
If found guilty, the question becomes whether Hardy will be subject to the guidelines of the old personal conduct policy, or the new policy that was enacted in December in response to a rash of high profile cases of domestic violence. Judge David Doty ruled Thursday that the NFL overstepped its boundaries by punishing Peterson under the new guidelines for a violation committed when the old policy was in place. If Hardy’s appeal receives a similar decision, he would face a two-game suspension rather than the new policy’s automatic six-game suspension for first-time offenders.
Peterson is not yet reinstated, but it will set in motion the opportunity to go before Henderson and the NFL again in order for him to take the next step under the CBA.
The Vikings released a statement of their own shortly after the NFL announced it would challenge Judge Doty’s decision:
“Adrian Peterson is an important member of the Minnesota Vikings, and our focus remains on welcoming him back when he is able to rejoin our organization. Today’s ruling leaves Adrian’s status under the control of the NFL, the NFLPA and the legal system, and we will have no further comment at this time.”
The NFLPA is pleased with the result, with executive director DeMaurice Smith stating that it is an example of why neutral arbitration is important:
Peterson was initially suspended after pleading no contest to misdemeanor assault charges. Under the terms of the suspension, Peterson would not be permitted to file for reinstatement until April 15, effectively sidelining him for the entirety on this season.