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 to sit today, but injury not long-term

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier Updated: October 10, 2012 - 1:22 PM

As coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday, there was no reason to believe receiver Jerome Simpson's leg and back issue was a long-term injury.

Frazier said today that Monday's magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam revealed that Simpson's lower left leg weakness and numbness was more the result of a back issue that won't sideline the receiver long, if at all. He will sit out today's practice.

"I don't think it's anything long-term," Frazier said. "We just want him to continue to go through some of the exercises that [head athletic trainer] Eric Sugarman and his staff will take him through today. We may get him back at practice tomorrow and hopefully, for sure, on Friday. But he may be back tomorrow.

So the good news is there's no surgery required or anything like that. He should be fine over time."

The Vikings are counting on Simpson playing on Sunday at Washington.

"All indications are there is a very good chance," Frazier said. "We'll know more as he responds to some of the treatment that they give him today. Hopefully, we'll get him back at practice tomorrow. But we don't think it's anything long-term at all."

Frazier said the best news was Simpson's leg problems had improved since Sunday. Simpson woke up Sunday morning with the leg weakness and numbness and wasn't able to push off on the leg. He was targeted only three times but didn't catch a pass in the team's 30-7 win over the Titans.

"He's much better than he was on Sunday," Frazier said. "He went through the walk-through [today] fine. This is more cautionary just to give him another day of rest and recuperation."

In other injury news:

  • Defensive tackle Kevin Williams has a stomach virus and will miss practice today. He's expected back Thursday. 
  • Running back Adrian Peterson's ankle is still a little sore, so he also will sit out today. He's not expected to miss Sunday's game either.

Ponder bouncing back impresses Frazier:  Frazier said Christian Ponder's reaction to throwing back-to-back interceptions in Sunday's win was completely different than it would have been during his rookie season last year. Ponder rebounded from the two picks to complete 12 of 13 passes for 100 yards, two touchdowns and no more picks.

"It's a great sign for us because in the past, those two interceptions, I just think back to a year ago where I would have come over and say, `Hey, c'mon Christian, get your head up. Let's go. You got to go back out there,'" Frazier said. "This time, it wasn't necessary. He handled it the way you need the quarterback of your team and one of the leaders of your team to handle it. He went over to the bench, looked at the pictures, talked to the coaches and went right back out. He had no ill effects from it. That's a great sign for our players because they look to him and his body language and his approach afterwards. It was so good for us going forward."

RGIII introduces new look to Vikings' defense: The Vikings are banking on rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III playing on Sunday. RGIII was knocked out of last week's loss to the Falcons with a concussion, but he's been cleared to practice today.

"It's a different dynamic," Frazier said. "They present an option [attack]. We haven't had to prepare for option football at all this season. We're watching tape Monday and Tuesday of a quarterback who not only presents a threat throwing the football, but getting on the perimeter of your defense and being able to pitch it or keep it and make plays. I think he has over 200 yards rushing (241) already and over 30 attempts (42). So it creates some other issues that we haven't faced this season. It forces you as a defense to be very disciplined about what you're doing and you have to tackle well.

"He's a multi-threat quarterback that creates a lot of problems for defenses because they do some things you don't ordinarily see at our level."

 

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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 67 3rd Qtr 4:40
Charlotte 77
New York 17 2nd Qtr
Chicago 28
Golden State 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:00 PM
Portland
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 2nd Prd 2:04
Carolina 0
Florida 1 2nd Prd 8:46
Montreal 1
Ottawa 2 2nd Prd 5:42
Toronto 0
Los Angeles 0 1st Prd 5:08
Minnesota 2
Columbus 1 1st Prd 4:49
St. Louis 0
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Colorado
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 35 2nd Half
NJIT 31
Notre Dame 7:49 PM
Kentucky
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New England 2
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Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 2nd Half 30:00
D.C. 0
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Columbus 0
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Colorado 7:30 PM
Houston
Seattle 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 52 2nd Half 9:46
(6) Tennessee 38
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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
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Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
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Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
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Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
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