The Vikings can’t do anything themselves to discipline Jerome Simpson – dang that CBA and all its rules – but you get the feeling from Leslie Frazier that if he could he would sit the receiver down for Sunday’s game and possibly beyond. Or maybe just launch him into outer space from a giant cannon.
Frazier has expressed tons of disappointment about Simpson’s DWI arrest, and in his comments Wednesday he took it a step further by indicating the Vikings may start Cordarrelle Patterson at split end this week instead of Simpson.
Frazier was asked whether Patterson would see more reps in practice this week in light of Simpson’s issues. “We intended to continue to get him more reps, and you saw it in the Washington game and the prior one, trying to get him more reps,” Frazier said. “That was a part of the plan anyway, and it definitely will be a part of the plan now, with some of the concerns that we have [about Simpson].”
Patterson saw more action than ever last Thursday against Washington, being targeted four times and catching two passes, one for a touchdown. Patterson’s contribution diminished as the game wore on but that early action left a distinct impression.
As for Simpson? When asked if the embattled receiver would be demoted to second string for the game Frazier said, “I don’t know how we’ll handle that part of it.” He added, “I do expect him to play. We’ll make a decision on that part of it [starting] as we go forward.”
It certainly sounds like the Vikings are ready to move on from Simpson, and as a consequence are preparing Patterson for a bigger role. It makes all the sense in the world for the Vikings to increase Patterson’s workload given his importance to the team’s future. The same could be said of Jarius Wright as well. Jerome Simpson may have still had a future with the Vikings before his arrest, but now that is all up in the air.
Listening to Frazier, you get the feeling the Vikings would prefer to dump Simpson and get on with their lives. They are just waiting for the league to pass discipline, possibly hoping that Roger Goodell will bring the hammer down and suspend Simpson for the remainder of the year. With Simpson on a one-year contract, such a suspension would effectively end his tenure with the Vikings.
Simpson has apologized to the team and fans for his arrest, but it doesn’t sound like the head coach is buying it. It sounds to me like Leslie Frazier is done with Jerome Simpson. The next man up happens to be a young player with a very bright future. Here’s hoping we see lots more Cordarrelle from here on out, and as little Jerome as possible.