Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 6/11/12
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The NFL confirmed Monday that new Minnesota Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson has been suspended without pay for the first three games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse program. He will be fined an additional game check, but allowed to return for the Week 4 game at the Detroit Lions. Simpson, 26, was indicted in January for marijuana trafficking after receiving a shipment of about two pounds of marijuana at his home in Kentucky in September. In a plea agreement, the case was reduced to a prohibited act relating to controlled substances and Simpson was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years of probation. Simpson was reportedly facing the three-game suspension from the league, which was confirmed by an NFL spokesperson in an e-mail distributed by the Vikings. "It's kind of frustrating," Simpson said last week while attending Minnesota's organized team activities. "Yeah it is, because I won't be out there with me guys playing the game I love, but it's the technicality of my situation." Simpson, the Cincinnati Bengals' second-round draft pick in 2008, is coming off a career-best season in 2011, catching 50 passes for 725 yards and four touchdowns in 14 starts for Cincinnati. The Vikings signed him to a one-year, make-good deal in April to be the deep threat at receiver they've been seeking for years. Simpson hasn't said whether he is trying to appeal the suspension, saying he's leaving all of off-field issues to his agent Dave Butz. Meanwhile, he's been an active participant at all of the Vikings' voluntary workouts and practices, trying to earn trust in his new teammates and coaches. He is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practice and games, including this week's OTAs, next week's mandatory veteran minicamp and training camp, which begins on July 16. When the season begins, he will have to spend three weeks away from the team facilities. He is eligible to return to the active roster on Monday, Sept. 24 after the Vikings' Week 3 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Simpson is thankful for his second chance with Minnesota. "It's absolutely a prove it' (season) just because the nature of that I did get in trouble last year and I have to prove to the league, myself and everybody else out there that I deserve to be in this league and I deserve to be in this league," Simpson said earlier this offseason. Through the first two weeks of OTAs, Simpson has become a go-to target for second-year quarterback Christian Ponder while top receiver Percy Harvin has been rehabbing after shoulder surgery. "We'll miss him the first couple games," Ponder said. "We're trying to do as much as possible and get on the same page right now and then when he's back, things will be rolling." Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Enrique Hernandez ties record with three home runs in Game 5

Marshawn Lynch ejected for shoving referee

WATCH: Kristaps Porzingis denies Carmelo Anthony at rim

Aaron Rodgers undergoes surgery to repair broken collarbone

Groundbreaking for Raiders' new Las Vegas stadium set for next month

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Redskins' Jay Gruden throws tremendous praise Carson Wentz's way

Tigers to hire Ron Gardenhire as manager

Former Cowboys exec: Dak Prescott won't ever be as good as Carson Wentz

Jameis Winston will be full participant in Friday's practice

Tennessee grocery store calls for Butch Jones' firing with amazing cake

Giants owner: McAdoo was not pressured to give up play-calling

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

25 questions heading into the 2017-18 NBA season

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker