If Adrian Peterson wants a Texas jury to referee his parenting choices, it is unlikely the banished Vikings running back will be able to defend himself against a child abuse indictment during the 2014 NFL season.
Thirty felony cases are docketed ahead of Peterson in Montgomery County, and presiding Judge Kelly Case has only seven open dates this year to schedule jury trials.
"I would say the chances of a trial occurring for him in 2014 are nil," said Emmett Harris, president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. "Both sides need to get ready for trial. Witnesses need to be prepared. It's just highly unlikely it would happen that quickly."
Peterson is due in court Oct. 8, when he is expected to formally enter a plea. Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant Grant said his office has not discussed any plea bargain with Peterson's Houston-based defense attorney, Rusty Hardin.
Hardin's spokeswoman, Mary Flood, said the lawyer was unavailable for interviews because he was completing a criminal trial in Houston and preparing to start another Monday.
Unless a plea agreement is reached that allows Peterson to avoid (or possibly delay) jail time, it's looking very unlikely that he makes it back to play in the NFL this season. If he does agree to a plea deal, he could still face a suspension from the league. We don't recommend rostering Peterson unless there's an open spot on the bench.