Youth is being served Sunday afternoon in the Vikings receiver corps, but it’s not out of choice. Due to some unfortunate situations, one injury-related, the other disciplinary, the Vikes will have their two most veteran – and productive – wideouts on the bench to begin the game, while a couple of their young stars get a chance to start.
Jerome Simpson we knew since early in the week would likely be benched to start the game as punishment for his DWI arrest last weekend, and that is indeed what will happen. The Vikings probably would have suspended Simpson entirely, but after consulting with the NFL they were told they could not sit the receiver down for the game. Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson will start at split end in Simpson’s place.
Patterson will have a fellow young receiver lining up opposite him to start the game. With Greg Jennings surprisingly out due to an Achilles injury, Jarius Wright will be called upon to play at flanker.
Statistically speaking, this is a big downgrade for the Vikings. Simpson and Jennings have combined for 67 catches and 901 yards, while Patterson and Wright have accounted for only 31 receptions and 318 yards between them. Jennings has two receiving touchdowns this year and Patterson one. Neither Wright nor Simpson have hit paydirt yet this season.