Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson’s three-game suspension for violating the NFL substance abuse policy was upheld by the NFL.
Simpson missed practice on Aug. 18 to meet with the league in New York to appeal the suspension stemming from a drunken-driving arrest last season. The wide receiver avoided jail time in January after pleading guilty to careless driving and third-degree drunken driving following a Nov. 9 arrest. Simpson, 28, was placed on a one-year probation and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service in public schools.
It’s the second suspension for Simpson, who is entering his sixth season, and it occurs just a day before the Vikings must trim their roster down to 53 players from 75. It’s unknown how Simpson’s suspension will impact whether they plan to keep five or six receivers.
The 28-year-old previously served a three-game suspension when he first signed with the Vikings in 2012 for a drug arrest in September 2011 when he played for the Bengals.
Despite knowing of a possible suspension, the Vikings opted to re-sign Simpson to a one-year deal in the offseason. He was used as the team’s third wide receiver in the preseason and had two catches for 25 yards in the four exhibition games.
The NFL released this statement: "Jerome Simpson of the Minnesota Vikings has been suspended without pay for the first three games of the 2014 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.
"Simpson will be eligible to return to the Vikings’ active roster on Monday, September 22 following the team’s September 21 game against the New Orleans Saints."