Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


NFL rubber stamps suspension for Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson

Posted by: under Vikings Updated: June 11, 2012 - 2:27 PM

Well, it's now official. Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson will be on the shelf for the first three games of 2012, suspended by the league for "violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse."

The NFL released a statement on the punishment today and revealed that Simpson will also be fined an additional game check.

Simpson's suspension is in connection with an incident last fall during which authorities intercepted a package on its way from California to the receiver's residence in Kentucky. The package was found to contain 2.5 pounds of marijuana. Authorities later entered Simpson's home and found additonal marijuana plus drug parapharnelia.

Simpson was arrested and originally indicted on a felony drug trafficking charge. He later plead to a lesser felony charge of being involved in a prohibited act relating to controlled substances.

Simpson spent 15 days in jail in early April. Shortly after he was released he visited the Vikings and signed with the team just before the NFL Draft.

In 2011 in Cincinnati, Simpson had 50 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns. Since joining the Vikings, he has quickly developed rapport with quarterback Christian Ponder and generated some buzz with his speed and athleticism. The Vikings believe Simpson will add juice to the offense in 2012. The league's discipline, however, means the 26-year-old won't be able to play his first regular season game until Sept. 30 when the Vikings visit Detroit.

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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