Vikings notes: Simpson suspension upheld

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Jerome Simpson pulls down a pass during NFL camp at Minnesota State Mankato Saturday July 26, 2014 in Mankato, MN .

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Jerome Simpson is gearing up for his third year with the Vikings. His schedule will consist of a 13-game season.

The league upheld the wide receiver’s three-game ban Friday for violating the NFL substance abuse policy, stemming from a drunken-driving arrest last season. Simpson’s appeal was denied by the league after he missed practice Aug. 18 to plead his case in New York.

The decision was made a day before the Vikings must trim their roster to 53 players from 75 by 3 p.m. Saturday. Simpson will be eligible to return to the team’s active roster Sept. 22, a day after its Week 3 matchup against the Saints.

Simpson was arrested Nov. 9 but avoided jail time in January after pleading guilty to careless driving and third-degree drunken driving. Simpson, 28, was placed on a one-year probation and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service.

It’s Simpson’s second suspension from the NFL, both served during his tenure with the Vikings. He previously was barred for three games when he first signed with the Vikings in 2012 for a drug arrest in September 2011 while with the Bengals.

The Vikings re-signed Simpson to a one-year deal in the offseason, knowing of the possibility of a suspension, for a third consecutive season.

Middle thoughts

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer found more clarity at middle linebacker Thursday night but wasn’t as certain at strong safety.

Jasper Brinkley started at middle linebacker in the Vikings’ 19-3 preseason victory over the Titans on Thursday, alongside Audie Cole as an outside linebacker. Cole replaced Brinkley in the second half in the middle, and Brinkley was done for the night.

“I would probably say that Jasper’s got the lead, but I haven’t made any firm decision yet,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer couldn’t be as firm at strong safety because rainy weather affected his evaluation. Robert Blanton started at strong safety and played there the entire first half, paired with Kurt Coleman at free safety as starter Harrison Smith sat out. Zimmer said he wanted to evaluate the tape and factor other decisions before making a choice.

“We just have to figure out what’s the best fit for this football team, not only on defense but on special teams,” Zimmer said.

Getting some work

Defensive end Corey Wootton will enter his fifth season in the NFL, but that didn’t exclude him from the preseason finale. In fact, Wootton played 37 snaps on defense, tying him for the second most on the unit.

Wootton brought pressure, as the coaching staff likely wanted to see from the veteran in that type of setting with young players. He sacked rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger in the second quarter, jarring the ball from his hands and recovering the fumble in the process. Wootton had two tackles to conclude his preseason.

“I think I did some good things, but I’m definitely looking to improve,” Wootton said. “I’m not going to be satisfied with making a couple of plays here or there. I’m just looking to get better with my hands, my footwork, rush angles, things like that.”

Weather welcome

Zimmer didn’t wear a jacket, although water dripped from the brim of his hat during the preseason finale.

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Kansas City 3 Top 9th Inning
San Francisco 2
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Dallas 117 FINAL
Orlando 92
New York 80 FINAL
Toronto 83
San Antonio 87 FINAL
Houston 96
Miami 104 FINAL
Memphis 98
Minnesota 113 FINAL
Chicago 112
Phoenix 87 4th Qtr 5:17
Utah 89
Sacramento 49 3rd Qtr
LA Lakers 48
Denver 26 2nd Qtr 10:35
Golden State 32
Portland 35 2nd Qtr 8:35
LA Clippers 25
Dallas 3 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 2 3rd Prd 13:25
Colorado 5
Carolina 2 3rd Prd
Edmonton 2
Columbus 1 2nd Prd 13:54
Anaheim 2
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 16 3rd Qtr 12:28
Boise State 41
(6) Oregon 17 2nd Qtr 12:45
California 14
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Houston 1 FINAL
Chicago 2
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 20
Calgary 15
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 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
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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 Noon
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

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