Found September 26, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Jerome Simpson was forced to live life as a Minnesota Vikings' fan the past three Sundays while serving his three-game suspension, and it wasn't easy on the excitable Minnesota receiver or his dog.Simpson shared the ups-and-downs of the Vikings through an intense three weeks and learned what it was like watching the game from the comforts of his couch, including having to deal with commercials."Scream the whole time," Simpson said of his game-watching tendencies. "I'm just like a fan, maybe even worse than a real fan. It was just me and my French bulldog, Yoshi, and I was kind of in there by myself most of the time, getting too wired up for him. I was into the game the whole time. I hate commercial breaks. I hate those."Commercial breaks will be a bit easier for Simpson to handle now that he'll be back on the sideline. Simpson was activated this week from his three-game suspension for a federal drug charge of a prohibited act relating to controlled substances.Practicing Wednesday for the first time since the preseason ended, Simpson was ready to channel his enthusiasm in a more constructive way than yelling at his television."Oh, he's fired up," coach Leslie Frazier said. "He's champing at the bit as you can imagine. He's extremely excited about now being able to practice with his teammates and be engaged in everything we're doing. So, he's pretty pumped up."Minnesota's offense is excited as well, knowing the energetic and athletic Simpson can pump up the offensive game plan even more. The Vikings have the league's 15th-ranked offense through the first three weeks and are 18th in passing, averaging 239.1 yards-per-game. But much of the success has come from a short passing attack and the lack of pass plays over 15 yards has been glaring.Enter Simpson, one of the key offseason acquisitions when Minnesota signed the former Cincinnati Bengals' receiver despite the looming suspension. Simpson, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound speedster, is coming off his best NFL season when he caught 50 passes for 725 yards and four touchdowns for the Bengals, who had made him their second-round draft pick in 2008.Simpson clicked immediately this offseason with Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, but the two had to temper the excitement knowing the three-game suspension was coming. Meanwhile, Percy Harvin has been the big-play threat and his leading the league in receptions and all-purpose yards.The highly-athletic Simpson adds a different dimension for Minnesota. Ponder and Simpson had a little trouble connecting during the portion of practice opened to the media on Wednesday. But Simpson said the two later connected on a deep pass that went about 60 yards."He's just getting back used to my speed, just how I run my routes and everything," Simpson said. "Just a little rust, but during practice we made some connections. We had an early go ball early in practice that we connected on, so it was good."And Simpson's energetic personality was rubbing off on teammates his first day back at practice."He's got quite the enthusiasm for the game of football, so I can imagine what it's going to be like in practice today," Ponder said. "Everyone feeds off that energy. He's got so much energy that he brings to the table. He loves being out here. He's going to be ready to work."Simpson has said he's appreciative of the second-chance the Vikings gave him after the drug issues of last year. He hopes after serving his suspension he won't have to revisit the past problems and is just happy to be back on the field."It was great, just like a kid in the candy store," Simpson said of his first day back at practice. "It was great to back out there with the guys running plays. Actually being able to run real plays with the quarterback and just trying to get my timing down."The Vikings have a three-day roster exemption and won't need to make a corresponding roster move until Thursday afternoon. Frazier said the team has an idea which way it will go to make roster space for Simpson, but he didn't want to mention what the team will do. Frazier wasn't shy about the plan for Simpson though."We're going to use him quite a bit," Frazier said. "We want to get him involved. A lot of it will depend on how he does this week in practice, his first action back. But, we definitely want to get him involved."Simpson has been around the team facilities throughout the suspension, benefiting from an NFL rule that allows players suspended under similar drug-related issues to stay with the team and receive support. Simpson has been allowed to work out and has been in meetings, so no one expects the transition to take long.His speed and athleticism will help stretch the field and offer more of a deep threat. Ponder has been careful to not take chances down the field. Simpson should change that, but Ponder still doesn't want to force the issue."Again, we're not going to try and force things," Ponder said. "We're going to use Jerome to get downfield and obviously he's got the speed to do it. Try to do some things to get the ball downfield and we want to make big plays, but we're not going to force them."Simpson's ready, whatever he's called to do."I hope that when I come back, it's not missteps and I don't put the offense behind anything," Simpson said. "I just want to keep on rolling and be that piece to the puzzle that helps this team connect even better." Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Jerome Simpson to debut for Minnesota Vikings this weekend

The Minnesota Vikings will be adding another weapon to their receiving corps this Sunday as they face off against the Detroit Lions.  Jerome Simpson, who just finished serving his three game suspension, will rejoin the team and add another dimension to an already fine tuned offense. Simpson is the type of vertical threat that the Vikings have been missing and will make for a...

Blair Walsh already has his name in the Vikings record book

Kicker Blair Walsh has made quite a splash so far in his rookie season. He set a record this week when he hit his third straight game with a fifty plus yard field goal. Walsh is not concerned  with the length of the kicks. He just goes out and hits them. “No, I don’t care if it’s 55 or 20 yards,” he said. “I would rather score touchdowns and be kicking extra points and...

Christian Ponder has been impressive in his second year

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is among the NFL’s statistical leaders in several categories. Besides being one of three quarterbacks with no interceptions, Ponder’s 70.1 completion percentage ranks second, as does his percentage of passes completed for first downs (44.3). His 104.9 quarterback rating is fifth overall. Ponder’s play has helped lift the Vikings to a 2-1...

Vikings' Harvin has the respect of his team

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The high praise from teammates for Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin continues with the big-play receiver on his way to the best season of his NFL career.Harvin leads the league with 27 receptions and is the all-purpose yardage leader, and his willingness to do anything has inspired his teammates. Harvin has truly become a leader for Minnesota, and the...

Rudolph sits out practice, Allen limited

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph didn't practice Wednesday because of a bruised quadriceps muscle, and defensive end Jared Allen was limited by a neck injury. Both players were banged up Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. Allen had to sit out a few series in the fourth quarter because of neck spasms, but returned to the game. Coach Leslie Frazier says the team...

Vikings hope to end misery against NFC North

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder says he hasn't been keeping up with what's going on with the NFC North yet this season, but he's well aware of the recent past. Heading into this week's first divisional game at Detroit, Minnesota has lost 11 straight games within the NFC North, including going 0-6 in 2011. The last game the Vikings...

Simpson To Be in Minnesota's Game Plan Week 4

Minnesota's newly acquired wideout Jerome Simpson, who was been suspended for the first three games of the 2012 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy, will be part of the game plan in Week 4, says coach Leslie Frazier.Fantasy Spin:Simpson had 50 catches last season for 725 yards and four touchdowns. Simpson, Harvin and tight end Kyle Rudolph should provide...

Vikings LB Greenway glad to play well for dad

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Pro Football Writer Chad Greenway was picked as an injury replacement for the Pro Bowl last season. He was credited with a career-high 174 tackles. That certainly wasn't his best year, though. The Minnesota Vikings struggled often on defense in 2011, and Greenway was a part of that. He didn't force any...

Ponder: Last year's trip to Detroit "hurt"

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Christian Ponder came through Sunday with perhaps his biggest game in the NFL against maybe the toughest defense he's faced in his 14 games.Not surprisingly, the Minnesota Vikings came up with their biggest, and most surprising win, during that time in the 24-13 win against the San Francisco 49ers. Minnesota's win and Ponder's performance (21 of 35...

Christian Ponder Dealing With Neck Tension

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has "tension" in his neck but he's still expected to start Sunday against the Lions, according to Judd Zulgad of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.Fantasy Spin:Ponder has been the league's most-improved quarterback, leading the team to a 2-1 record with 713 yards, four passing touchdowns and a rushing score with zero picks in three games...

Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions: Three Bold Predictions

Cue the fish alien.This game is a trap for the Detroit Lions.They gave up a large number of big plays last week against the Titans, and were down 14 points with 30 seconds left to play. They got lucky and landed a series of miracles to reach overtime, but they were easily beaten in that game.The Minnesota Vikings did the exact opposite this weekend - they stunned everyone by beating...

Worth a Ponder

I am a Minnesota girl.  My first football love was the Minnesota Vikings.  It was a tortured relationship.  Especially in January.  And December.  And sometimes November. September was usually good.  And October…at least the beginning of it.  But it was … Continue reading →

Vikings turn focus on NFC North losing streak

Upsetting the heavily favored 49ers at home was impressive. More impressive would be following it up with an NFC North win on the road. Or any NFC North victory, for that matter. The Vikings head to Detroit, fresh off last week's 24-13 stunner and well aware of the fact they're riding an 11-game losing streak in their division. "We just need to go to Detroit and...

Christian Ponder says the Vikings shut down Justin Smith

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder made an appearance with Paul Allen on KFAN in Minneapolis (via SportsRadioInterviews.com) and said that offensive tackle Charlie Johnson shut down 49ers defensive end Justin Smith during last Sunday’s win. “He got shut down. Charlie Johnson did such a great job. And even seeing Matt Kalil on him sometimes, blocking him. They played...

Week 3 Fantasy Football Recap: 49ers vs. Vikings

Minnesota Vikings 24, San Francisco 49ers 13In what was the most shocking upset of the day, Christian Ponder (231 total yards, 3 TDs) led the Vikings to an improbable victory over the 49ers, who most viewed as the top team at least in the NFC, if not the whole NFL.  This wasn’t some “barely win” either, this was a domination for most of the game.Alex Smith (230 total yards...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.