Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 10/15/12
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Receiver Jerome Simpson stood at his locker in the Minnesota Vikings' facilities at Winter Park on Monday as members of the media assembled around him.Fresh off a surprise inactive status in Monday's 38-26 loss, Simpson offered several one-word answers to questions about his health, and how tough it was to sit out Sunday's loss. Simpson, a week after waking up with a strange injury that caused weakness and numbness in his leg, thought he had improved enough during the week to be able to play.Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier felt otherwise. Frazier said he talked with the energetic and athletic receiver the night before and told Simpson what he was thinking. By the time Sunday's game rolled around, Frazier wasn't ready to let Simpson loose. A day later, Simpson still clearly wasn't happy with the decision."Terrible," Simpson said of how tough it was to sit Sunday, one of four one-word answers to start his interview session with the media.Simpson was brought to the Vikings to be one of the final pieces for an offense built around stars, running back Adrian Peterson and receiver Percy Harvin with quarterback Christian Ponder ready to take a step in his second season. Peterson had returned from his severe knee injury and Harvin had proven to be one of the most unique, versatile big-play weapons in the NFL. Minnesota also had emerging second-year tight end Kyle Rudolph and signed John Carlson to be another receiving threat at tight end.Simpson, off a breakout 50-catch, 725-yard season for the Cincinnati Bengals last year, was the receiver with the speed and athleticism to stretch the field. Just the type of plays the Vikings could have used in Sunday's loss to the Redskins when they trailed 24-9, 31-12 and 38-26 in the second half.It was the type of game Simpson had been waiting to make an impact in due to his three-game suspension at the start of the season. But Frazier told Simpson Saturday he would make a decision before Sunday's game and Simpson was on the outside looking in when the active roster was announced."Me being a competitor, I always want to play the game, play in the game," Simpson said. "So I just have to go with his decision and what he thinks is best for the team."Frazier, on Sunday, felt giving Simpson more time for his injury to heal was the best solution. Frazier has said Simpson is dealing with a back injury that radiates down his leg and keeps the explosive receiver from pushing off like normal. Simpson said Monday he feels "great" and all the symptoms have subsided, adding: "I feel good. I feel like Jerome Simpson.""He's a competitor, which is what you appreciate about him," Frazier said. "He wanted to be out there. But we'll see how it goes this week. He's a competitor. He wants to play. He wants to help our team win and we'll evaluate it this week."Without Simpson on the field, Minnesota again failed to establish any kind of deep passing attack in a game where it was trailing by double-digits early in the second half. At times this season, backups Michael Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu have come up with big catches, but they don't offer the same threat as Simpson does with his speed and exceptional leaping ability. In his first game back from the suspension, Simpson had four catches for 50 yards against the Detroit Lions, and also accounted for another 57 yards in penalties while getting pass interference calls against Detroit. He was then limited the next week as the leg and back issues popped up after he woke up the morning of the game and he was out Sunday.Simpson went through a week of tests, which discovered the back problem, and treatment. He missed Wednesday's practice last week, but returned in a limited role on Thursday and Friday."I felt like it loosened up a lot," Simpson said, just calling the issue tightness and said he doesn't have trouble with his back. "I felt like I was ready but coach is just going to do what's best for the team."Playing catchup the entire second-half proved difficult with quarterback Christian Ponder misfiring and not able to get the ball down field for big plays. Of Ponder's career-high 52 pass attempts on Sunday, only seven were considered deep, passes traveling 15 or more yards in the air. He connected on three of those, and drew an important pass interference in the end zone. Ponder threw for 352 yards, but only averaged 6.77 yards-per-attempt. His 6.83 yards-per-attempt for the season ranks 25th in the NFL.The short passing game was working while the defense dominated opponents and Minnesota was in close games. Needing to play catch-up, the Vikings couldn't get downfield Sunday. Frazier said Ponder isn't reluctant to take shots downfield."No, he'll put it out there if the coverage will allow him to throw it," Frazier said. "There are times that their coverage is good enoughit depends a little bit on the coverage. If they've got good coverage, the ball may not go down the field. It may go to a checkdown or it may go to the sideline or it may go out of bounds. We'll continue to take shots when they're available."Simpson is ready to play Sunday and says he "can do everything." He could get that chance against Sunday, and believes, like Minnesota did when they signed him, that he could offer the missing piece to the offense."Yeah, just with my speed," Simpson said. "I feel like with my speed I just can do that by helping this team get that extra man out of the box and that's what I'm just going to try to continue to do to my best ability."Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback


Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Cavaliers showing trade interest in Kings’ Ben McLemore

Report: Rockets shopping Dwight Howard

Jim Fassel takes issue with Cam Newton's warmup MVP cleats

Report: NFL upholds Vontaze Burfict’s three-game suspension

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

USWNT start Olympic qualification in style by scoring in first 12 seconds

Magic Johnson wants Peyton Manning to join Rams

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

Franchise tag has been a useful tool for John Elway, Broncos

The 16 best NBA All-Star Game sneakers ever

Eight most potentially combustible MLB clubhouses

Matt Barnes coyly denies IG post was shot at Derek Fisher

NHLers who should be dealt to contenders before deadline

Robert Kraft compares Tom Brady to Peyton, Eli Manning

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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker