Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson claimed he is not a "child abuser", ahead of his return to the NFL on Sunday.
Peterson will take on the New Orleans Saints despite being charged with "reckless or negligent injury to a child" on Saturday.
The 29-year-old played in the Vikings' season-opening win over the St Louis Rams, but missed their most recent loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Despite apparently pleading his innocence, Peterson also apologised for the hurt he has caused.
"I very much want the public to hear from me but I understand that it is not appropriate to talk about the facts in detail at this time," Peterson's statement read.
"Nevertheless, I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child.
"I never wanted to be a distraction to the Vikings organisation, the Minnesota community or to my team-mates.
"I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son."
Peterson allegedly used a tree branch to discipline his son.
He conceded he needed to look to alternative measures of punishment.
"I have learned a lot and have had to re-evaluate how I discipline my son going forward," Peterson's statement continued.
"But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives.
"I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man.
"I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make."
Peterson lost a two-year-old son in October 2013, after he was allegedly beaten to death.
The accused, Joseph Patterson, is awaiting trial in October.