Leslie Frazier: Jerome Simpson Isn’t the Same Player He Was Before Injury


Oct 25, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson (81) catches a pass over Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back E.J. Biggers (31) during the second quarter at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

We’re all wondering what’s up with Jerome Simpson. Is he not being used right by Bill Musgrave? Is Christian Ponder not finding him? Is he just not a very good route runner? Is he, in fact, a horrible football player who never should’ve been held up as a potential offensive savior in the first place?

Could be a combination of all that stuff actually. But according to Leslie Frazier, the main thing is health. Frazier says Simpson just isn’t the same guy he was before the back/leg injury that set in before the Tennessee game.

“He’s not where he was prior to that injury. He’s not,” Frazier said. “You look at the tape, and you know that. He’s still able to give us some things, but he’s not where he was before the injury, for sure.”

Stats-wise, Simpson has been anything but a beast for the Vikings. In his past three games he has only 4 catches for 59 yards. At least against Tampa Bay Ponder tried to find him, targeting the receiver seven times. Compare that to the three targets Simpson received total between the Arizona and Seattle games.

Mr. Invisible would be a good nickname for Simpson nine games into his Vikings career. That is likely to continue being the story as long as his leg is not 100%. This spells bad news for the Vikes who need Simpson to be productive if they’re going to right the ship. The Vikes didn’t sign Simpson to be a slow possession receiver, they signed him to give them a downfield threat.

Maybe that was a mistake anyway, but it’s hard to say for sure with Simpson ailing. All the more reason to activate Jarius Wright and see what he can do.

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