As energetic and hyper as Jerome Simpson usually is, the Vikings receiver wasn't in the mood for small talk Monday, a day after being declared inactive against Washington.
The reason for Simpson's idle status? Coach Leslie Frazier said Sunday he wasn't quite comfortable clearing Simpson based on what he had seen in practice, as the speedy receiver dealt with a back issue that has caused tightness and numbness in his leg.
But Simpson disagreed with Frazier's decision to keep him sidelined against the Redskins. So when it came time to talk with reporters Monday, he was terse.
Simpson was asked if he would be full speed ahead this week as the Vikings prepare to play host to Arizona.
"Yes," he answered.
He was asked what it felt like to sit out Sunday's loss.
And the message Simpson received from Frazier during a 1-on-1 visit Saturday?
"Game-time decision," he snapped.
Suddenly, Simpson's saga has become a bit disconcerting. The Vikings offense has spent most of this season without a true vertical threat. So much so that Frazier acknowledges how often defenses are now playing only one deep safety as they crowd toward the line in an attempt to control Adrian Peterson on the ground and Percy Harvin in the short passing game.
Simpson was the playmaker the Vikings signed in April to keep defenses honest. And he is itching to prove his worth.
But he was suspended by the NFL for the first three games, had four catches for 50 yards against Detroit and was a nonfactor in Week 5 against Tennessee when that back ailment surfaced before the game.
Simpson, 26, has gotten consistent treatment for his injury, icing it, spending time in the hot tub and receiving electrical stimulation.
And he insisted again Monday that he has no lingering symptoms and feels no limitations.
"I feel good," he said. "I feel like Jerome Simpson. ... If we were to play today, I believe I could go out there and play."
The hope is the fifth-year pro will be active again Sunday. But even if he is, Frazier wouldn't project just how much of an immediate impact that might make.
"We've had limited exposure to him," Frazier said. "We've got some time, and hopefully he's ready to go this week. I could give you a better answer as we get further into the year and we've had more exposure with him. We've just had limited opportunities to this point."