Jerome Simpson, the Vikings’ leading receiver through five games, was asked to explain his feelings about getting ready for a third starting quarterback in the past four games. He paused to gather his thoughts. Then he paused some more.
“Well,” he finally said, “Coaches made their decision. We’re just going to roll with it and try to make plays.”
Simpson’s hesitancy didn’t appear to be the result of any doubts or distrust of Josh Freeman, who will make his Vikings debut as the starting quarterback in Monday night’s game against the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
No, the hesitancy appeared to be the result of, well, not really knowing Freeman. After all, the guy was named the starter Wednesday, which was 10 days after he signed with the team, seven days after he met most of his teammates and the same day he took his first practice reps with the first-team offense.
So it was understandably honest when Simpson drew a blank when asked to evaluate Freeman’s strengths.
“That’s something you’re going to have to ask me later in the week because right now we’re just trying to get on the same page,” Simpson said. “That’s something I can’t really make a comment on right now because I really don’t know too much about him.”
Simpson leads the team in catches (23) and receiving yards (372). He caught 12 passes for 218 yards from Christian Ponder and 11 passes for 154 yards from Matt Cassel. He had a 100-yard game with both quarterbacks and was asked how long it would take to develop a chemistry with Freeman.
“Hopefully, we can get it in a week,” he said.
Felton: Not like 0-16 Lions
While Simpson said he’s never experienced three starting quarterbacks in one season, Vikings fullback Jerome Felton has. He was on the 2008 Lions team that started Dan Orlovsky (0-7), Daunte Culpepper (0-5) and Jon Kitna (0-4) during the only 0-16 season in league history.
“We had like five of them [play] that year,” Felton said. “There was Orlovsky, Culpepper, Kitna, Drew Stanton and one other one I forget [Drew Henson].”
Orlovsky was the guy who gave Jared Allen the easiest sack of his career, stepping out of the back of the end zone by mistake while eluding Allen at the Metrodome. In keeping with the Lions’ luck that year, that safety came in a game they lost by two points, 12-10.
“That was a rough year because guys were getting hurt and we were signing quarterbacks off the street who had been out of the game,” Felton said.
“This situation here is kind of unique with Josh becoming available. So I definitely wouldn’t compare this to that situation in Detroit. That was worse. Trust me. Definitely worse.”
Peterson absent again
For the second time in less than a week, running back Adrian Peterson was excused from Wednesday’s practice for personal reasons.
Peterson missed practice last Thursday to visit his 2-year-old son in the hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. The boy died a day later from injuries sustained from an alleged beating from the boyfriend of the boy’s mother.
Asked if Peterson’s absence on Wednesday was related to the situation in South Dakota, Frazier said, “It’s a personal matter for Adrian.”
Frazier said he expects Peterson to return to practice on Thursday.
Smith misses practice, too
Free safety Harrison Smith, who suffered a turf toe injury in the second half of Sunday’s loss to Carolina, missed practice on Wednesday. He was still in a walking boot when he left the locker room for a doctor’s appointment. He said he felt “all right” but wasn’t sure of the extent of the injury.
• Cornerback Xavier Rhodes (ankle) did practice. Rhodes sprained his ankle in Sunday’s game but returned for a while before leaving again when the game got out of reach.
• Frazier said he will update the team’s injuries on Thursday, the first day that teams playing Monday night need to issue an injury report.
|Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply||4||FINAL|
|NY Mets - WP: C. Torres||5|
|Pittsburgh||0||Top 1st Inning|
|LA Lakers||7:00 PM|
|Columbus||0||1st Prd 19:35|
|Minnesota||0||1st Prd 19:10|
|Miss Valley St||75|
|Towson||36||2nd Half 16:33|
|Gardner-Webb||40||2nd Half 15:30|
|Samford||36||2nd Half 18:17|
|Northern Ill||6:00 PM|
|Bowling Green||2||1st Half 19:05|
|Brown||7||1st Half 17:03|
|Toledo||0||1st Half 16:41|
|Akron||9||1st Half 15:11|
|Ill-Chicago||3||1st Half 16:21|
|Columbia||0||1st Half 18:35|
|Cornell||6||1st Half 15:43|
|Central Mich||6:00 PM|
|Bradley||0||1st Half 20:00|
|Morehead State||6:30 PM|
|Coll of Charleston||7:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||8:00 PM|
|Loyola Marymount||10:30 PM|
|(21) George Washington||77|
|(3) South Carolina||58|
|East Tenn St||66|
|(2) Notre Dame||77|
|(9) Arizona State||67|
|Miss Valley St||51|
|(18) Texas A&M||65||FINAL|
|Santa Clara||40||2nd Half 1:26|
|Virginia Tech||17||2nd Half|
|(7) Florida State||41|
|Lehigh||49||2nd Half 15:25|
|USC Upstate||6:00 PM|
|(13) Princeton||6:00 PM|
|Rhode Island||0||1st Half 19:08|
|North Florida||0||1st Half 17:45|
|(20) Fla Gulf Coast||8|
|Kennesaw St||0||1st Half 19:28|
|Saint Peters||0||1st Half 18:05|
|Navy||3||1st Half 18:51|
|Georgia||4||1st Half 17:37|
|Kansas||3||1st Half 16:22|
|Harvard||10||1st Half 15:45|
|(15) North Carolina||7:00 PM|
|San Jose St||7:00 PM|
|Utah State||8:00 PM|
|(8) Oregon State|
|New Mexico||8:00 PM|
|(12) Kentucky||8:25 PM|
|(11) Miss State|
|San Diego State||8:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||8:30 PM|
|Boise State||9:00 PM|
|Aug 8 - vs. Oakland||7 pm||X||10-6|
|Aug 16 - vs. Arizona||7:30 pm||X||30-28|
|Aug 23 - at Kansas City||7 pm||X||30-12|
|Aug 28 - at Tennessee||7 pm||X||19-3|
|2014 regular season|
|Sep 7 - at St. Louis||Noon||X||34-6|
|Sep 14 - vs. New England||Noon||X||30-7|
|Sep 21 - at New Orleans||Noon||X||20-9|
|Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta||3:25 pm||X||41-28|
|Oct 2 - at Green Bay||7:25 pm||X||42-10|
|Oct 12 - vs. Detroit||Noon||X||17-3|
|Oct 19 - at. Buffalo||Noon||X||17-16|
|Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay||Noon||X||19-13 ot|
|Nov 2 - vs. Washington||Noon||X||29-26|
|Nov 9 - Bye|
|Nov 16 - at Chicago||Noon||X||21-13|
|Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay||Noon||X||24-21|
|Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||31-13|
|Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets||Noon||X||30-24 ot|
|Dec 14 - at Detroit||3:25 pm||X||16-14|
|Dec 21 - at Miami||Noon||X||37-35|
|Dec 28 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||13-9|
Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?