Minnesota Viking Jerome Simpson said he expects to play Sunday at the Seattle Seahawks, even though he is only a week out from his arrest for suspicion of a DWI.
Coach Leslie Frazier on the other hand isn’t so sure.
“Well, today is Monday. There’s so much more information to be gathered,” Frazier said. “We’ll see [about Simpson playing]. We’ll see what happens.”
Around 5:39 a.m. on Saturday morning, Simpson was booked at the Hennepin County Jail following a Minnesota State Patrol officer responding to a stalled vehicle on westbound I-394 leaving downtown Minneapolis. Simpson told the trooper he was coming from the Pour House and wasn’t drinking.
Simpson performed and failed field sobriety tests and then the officer arrested him for DWI. He was booked officially for DWI/Test Refusal and was released on $12,000 bond that afternoon.
“I apologize for the attention that I’ve brought with my team and myself,” Simpson said. He only spoke briefly with the media and did not explain why he believes he’ll play Sunday.
Simpson only apologized for the negative attention, and not for drunken driving. There are obvious legal problems if he did before due process.
He was arrested around 30 hours following the team’s Thursday night win. Because of the early Week 10 game, the players had the weekend off.
Simpson is likely in line for disciplinary action by the NFL with his prior history. His first three games with Minnesota were served under a suspension after he pled guilty to a felony drug charge in March 2012 and was sentenced to three years of probation by a Kentucky court.
“His previous situations will definitely factor in with what happens going forward [with the NFL],” Frazier said.
It’s a disappointing step back for a receiver and the Vikings. Simpson currently leads the team in receiving yards (491) and made claims he wanted to earn a long term contract this season, with the potential to finish his career in Minnesota. The Vikings signed him to another one-year deal last offseason after a mediocre 2012 season because of a back injury.
If he can’t play on Sunday or anytime this season, Cordarrelle Patterson will see an increased snap count as he’s next in line for the split end receiver position.
“[Patterson] would have to be because he’s the guy we would be counting on to take more snaps,” Frazier said. “It’s not how we would have planned it, but he would have to be ready to take more snaps and contribute both on special teams as well as what we’d ask him to do on offense.”