Last week, wide receiver Jerome Simpson was forced to watch from the sidelines during the Minnesota Vikings‘ disappointing defeat at the hands of the Washington Redskins. It’ll be a different story in Week 7, though, as Simpson has received the nod to start on Sunday when the Vikings take on the Arizona Cardinals.
Currently nursing a back injury, Simpson was struggling with lower leg numbness and was limited in reps during last week’s practices, forcing the Vikings to inactivate him against the Redskins.
“You don’t want to put him in a situation where you feel like he can’t protect himself or do the things he needs to do to play at the level that he wants to play at and we want him to play at, for sure,” Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said regarding his disgruntled wide receiver. Frazier was convinced that Simpson couldn’t push off and would prove to be more of a liability than an asset given his ailments.
As a result of his inactivation, Simpson missed out on a $60,000 game check. The speedy wide receiver was infuriated, especially after already missing out on a large chunk of his $2 million salary while serving a three-game suspension to start the season.
“You lose $60,000, you’d be mad, too,” Simpson said. “We’re on the same page. I’m just a competitor, man. I just want to be out on that field. Anytime something gets taken from you, you’re obviously going to be kind of upset about it.”
This week, Simpson made it clear that, despite his frustration, he’s ready to contribute for the Vikings against the Cardinals. He’s assured the media that he’s at 100 percent and shouldn’t have any lingering back issues when he hits the field against Arizona’s 10th ranked pass defense.
Assuming Simpson is back to full strength, look for him to make a significant impact for the Vikings, taking some of the production pressure off of Percy Harvin in the process.