Vikings Insider: Healthy Simpson makes a splash

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 13, 2013 - 12:33 AM

The speedy wide receiver leads the Vikings in catches and receiving yards.

hide

Minnesota Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson (81) was chased by Troy Polamalu (43) after a catch in third quarter. Minnesota beat Pittsburgh by a final score of 34-27.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Jerome Simpson does the same routine before most plays. He breaks the huddle, runs to his receiver spot and leaps high into the air, as if he’s about to execute a kung-fu kick.

His maneuver is one part ballet, one part goofy. Apparently, he’s trying to prove a point, though, beyond showing off his impressive jumping prowess.

“Just show the defenders that I’m ready and I’m going to be here all day,” he explained. “That’s just one of my patents. I’m showing that I’m going to have energy the whole game so you better come ready.”

But what about last season when he shelved his “patent” for the most part?

“I was hurting,” he said. “I couldn’t do it last year.”

Simpson’s pre-snap aerobics indicate that he is healthy and happy again after miserable debut with the Vikings in 2012. His production so far this season provides the truest measure: He leads the Vikings in catches (19) and receiving yards (342) and looks like a legitimate deep threat.

“It’s good because I’ve got the confidence of the coaches and my teammates and the quarterbacks,” Simpson said. “They know they can come to me and I’m going to make a play for them.”

Simpson’s fast start is the kind of impact the Vikings envisioned when they signed him to a one-year contract before last season. But Simpson missed the first three games while serving an NFL suspension over his drug case and then woke up the day of a game in earlier October and felt numbness in his foot. He was diagnosed with a back injury that bothered him the rest of the season.

Simpson finished with only 26 catches for 274 yards and no TDs. But rather than rule the experiment a failure, GM Rick Spielman decided to re-sign Simpson to another one-year deal as he rebuilt his receiving corps.

In his exit interview with the coaching staff after the season, Simpson vowed to return healthy and prove the team right, if given another opportunity.

“This is what I envisioned,” he said. “I know what I can do.”

Simpson has two 100-yard performances in the first four games. Though he still has not caught a touchdown pass in a Vikings uniform, Simpson has provided a vertical presence that was painfully absent last season.

Simpson caught only three passes of 20-plus yards last season. He already has five this season.

“It’s 100 percent because I’m healthy,” Simpson said. “I feel great this year. I’m in great spirits, and my body is where it needs to be. And I have no worries.”

Wide receivers coach George Stewart credits management for giving Simpson a second chance to prove himself.

“When Rick Spielman signed this young man two years ago, he was one of the most athletic receivers in the league,” Stewart said. “He’s completely healthy [now] and playing at a high level. Jerome Simpson has really worked hard to get himself to this level.”

Now, he must prove he can stay at this level. Simpson had a 140-yard performance against Detroit with Christian Ponder as his quarterback, and he caught seven passes for 124 yards against Pittsburgh with Matt Cassel running the show.

Eventually, he’ll get the opportunity to play with newcomer Josh Freeman, who is known for his strong arm.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Cleveland 11/6/14 7:25 PM
Cincinnati
Memphis 6:00 PM
Indiana
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Chicago
Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Portland 9:00 PM
Sacramento
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Phoenix
LA Clippers 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Columbus
Los Angeles 6:30 PM
Detroit
Anaheim 7:30 PM
Dallas
Nashville 8:00 PM
Calgary
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Memphis 11/7/14 6:30 PM
Temple
Utah State 11/7/14 7:00 PM
Wyoming
(12) Baylor 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(19) Oklahoma
(11) Kansas State 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(10) TCU
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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 Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How has Mike Zimmer done so far as Vikings coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close