The Vikings get back a piece they expect to play a major role in the offense this week with wide receiver Jerome Simpson’s return from suspension.
Simpson wasn’t able to practice or play with the team during his three-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but the team isn’t expected to ease him back into the lineup. Coach Leslie Frazier said Friday that Simpson will be full go this weekend in his return to the lineup.
“We don’t have a pitch count for him,” Frazier said, via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. “We’re going to let him play. We’ve got some things in there for him.”
Percy Harvin has 27 catches through the first three games for Minnesota, but no other Vikings receiver has caught more than nine passes so far this season. Simpson’s presence should allow the Vikings to stretch defenses a bit more than their opponents have had to stretch in the opening weeks of the season. That would open up more opportunities for Harvin and tight end Kyle Rudolph while also giving the team an option to try for a big play down the field with Simpson.
The Vikings face the Lions this week in a game that will help set the stage for the NFC North race a quarter of the way through the season.