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.


Simpson has MRI on left leg; Smith won't be fined or suspended

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Leslie Frazier Updated: October 8, 2012 - 2:31 PM

The Vikings are remarkable healthy overall for an NFL team heading into its second game in October.

But receiver Jerome Simpson, the team's No. 1 deep threat, has undergone a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam this morning to determine the nature and severity of what coach Leslie Frazier described as "lower [left] leg weakness and numbness."

"From everything I've been told, we shouldn't be afraid to the point where we're going to lose him for a long period of time," Frazier said. "But everything is not conclusive as we speak."

Frazier said team doctors suspect the problem could be connected to the back as well as the leg. Frazier also said the injury was news to him when he woke up Sunday morning, hours before the team was to play the Titans at Mall of America Field.

"I get a text yesterday from [head athletic trainer] Eric Sugarman saying there was something wrong with Jerome," Frazier said. "And when I get to the stadium and he comes into my office and explains to me what's going on, it wasn't the conversation I expected to have on the day of the game. We had a big package for Jerome in this game. We really felt like there some things that we could utilize his abilities and make some plays for us.

"We took him out on the field and tried to do some things to see if we should have him [active] or should be have him [inactive]. So it wasn't until just a few hours before the game that he came in and told us he was having some weakness and couldn't really push off on that leg."

Frazier decided to play Simpson, but had a fifth receiver active just in case Simpson or Michael Jenkins, who has a rib injury, couldn't peform. Normally, the team activates only four receviers.

"After we worked him out, our doctors didn't think he would be in jeopardy if he played," Frazier said.

Simpson was targeted three times, but didn't catch a pass. The team's first offensive snap was a pass to Simpson that he dropped. Simpson left the field and slammed his helmet down.

"He said this has never happened to him before," Frazier said. "This was new to him, so you can imagine that it scared him. ... We were hoping as time went on he would regain that feeling during the course of the game. The doctors felt that was possible. And it did get a little better, but not to the point where he felt completely comfortable."

Smith won't be fined or suspended: Safety Harrison Smith, who was ejected in the second quarter of Sunday's game after shoving an official, will not be fined or suspended, Frazier announced today.

"We don't condone his behavior whatsoever," Frazier said. "It's not smart football. We got to be able to handle our emotions when things get a little bit awry. He knows that. He and I have talked about it. We have to do a better job in moments when that occurs of being able to walk away from the situation and not cost our team a penalty or a potential dismissal from the game."

In other news from Frazier's press conference:

  • The mild ankle sprain that running back Adrian Peterson suffered is tender today, but Frazier said, "We don't think there's anything that will keep him from playing in this next ballgame. He should be fine going forward."
  • Linebacker Marvin Mitchell, who strained his calf in practice last Thursday, is expected to return to practice on Wednesday.
  • Safety Andrew Sendejo, who missed another game Sunday because of an ankle sprain, is expected to return to practice on Wednesday as well.
  • Frazier said the coaches will continue to evaluate how to handle the middle linebacker position in the nickel defense. Erin Henderson had been in that role until suffering a concussion in Week 2. Jasper Brinkley took over and did so well that he kept the role even after Henderson returned from his concussion on Sunday. "Erin did a good job in the base defense [Sunday]," Frazier said. "Didn't get any snaps in the nickel. The way Jasper is playing, it's hard to take him off the field in nickel situations. He's doing such a good job. He's grown. He always felt like he could do it if we gave him the opportunity. And he's showing he's capable. But we Erin is good at the nickel mike position as well."
  • As far as that 2-0 mark that Frazier has at Washington, well, it's a non-factor heading to Washington this week, Frazier said. "It will not even be talked about this week," Frazier said.
  • Frazier isn't ready to declare rookie cornerback Josh Robinson the full-time starter ahead of veteran Antoine Winfield. The Vikings started Robinson in the base defense on Sunday as a way of helping preserve Winfield's 35-year-old legs throughout the season. Winfield still played in the nickel and in some base situations throughtout the game. Asked if Robinson will now be the starter in the base, Frazier said, "I don't know that eventually will be the case in 2012. We know at some point, we're hoping at some point Josh develops to where he can be our starting corner. That's why we drafted him [in the third round]. When that transformation occurs, we're not sure."
  • Frazier said rookie tight end Rhett Ellison hasn't evolved to the point where he's going to take any reps from the team's top two tight ends, Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson. Ellison had his first two NFL catches, including a 29-yarder, on Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT