Vikings Release WR Jerome Simpson After Learning Of Citation

Minnesota Vikings v Tennessee Titans

The Vikings announced they’ve released wide receiver Jerome Simpson after the organization became aware of a July 7 citation on Thursday, Christopher Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

Simpson missed the first two games of the season, serving a three-game NFL suspension for a DUI arrest last year. He was expected to return to the team on Monday after the Vikings face the Saints on Sunday.

The Vikings receiver is scheduled to appear in Hennepin County Court on Nov. 3 after being cited just after midnight July 7 by Bloomington Police on charges of marijuana possession, open bottle and violating the conditions of his limited drivers license, according to court records filed Sept. 2.

The team has not issued a comment. Simpson’s attorney, David Valentini, has not returned messages for comment.

The Vikings lead the NFL in the number of player arrests – 44 since 2000. Simpson, though, was not arrested in this latest incident, but instead cited at the scene, on Bush Lake Road near Hwy. 494. The three charges are misdemeanor offenses; if he had a felony amount of marijuana in his vehicle, he could have been arrested at the scene.

Simpson is serving a three-game suspension by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, stemming from a drunken-driving arrest last season. It will now be up to Hennepin County Court to decide if Simpson violated probation in that case. Simpson was arrested Nov. 9 but avoided jail time in January after pleading guilty to careless driving and third-degree drunken driving. Simpson was placed on a one-year probation and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service.

Minnesota Governor Calls For Peterson To Stay Suspended

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Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday that the Vikings should suspend running back Adrian Peterson until accusations of child abuse against him have been resolved in the criminal justice system, Patrick Condon of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

Calling the allegations and their fallout “an awful situation,” Dayton said he believes Peterson is innocent until proven guilty and that he deserves due process. But he also called the allegations, that Peterson used a wooden switch to discipline his four-year-old son, “a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the state of Minnesota.”

Dayton’s remarks came in a statement from his office. The governor is in Washington, D.C., raising funds for his re-election campaign.

“Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state,” Dayton said.

Peterson has denied being a child abuser, saying he was using the same disciplinary methods that he experienced as a child. The Vikings had kept Peterson out of Sunday’s game, but announced Monday that he would be reinstated and playing next Sunday.

Mike Priefer to be Reinstated Today

Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer will be reinstated from his suspension today, Minnesota announced on Sunday night.

Priefer was originally suspended for three games, but the suspensions was reduced to only two games because Priefer completed “anti-harassment, diversity and sexual orientation training,” according to a statement from the Vikings.

He was suspended because of his anti-gay comments aimed toward former punter Chris Kluwe, who is a gay rights activist. Priefer initially denied and then admitted to suggesting that “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.”

Priefer’s absence was obvious Sunday against New England. Not only did the Vikings have a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown, but they also had only nine guys on the field while receiving a punt in the second half.

Interim special teams coach Joe Marciano filled in for the first two weeks of the season.

Vikings Crushed by Patriots

The Minnesota Vikings were dealt a harsh return to reality Sunday afternoon with a 30-7 loss at home against New England. Last week, the Vikings were on the good side of a rout, beating St. Louis 34-6.

Matt Cassel threw four interceptions, including one that was returned to the one yard line in the first quarter. It was his second three+ interception outing in his last four games.

Minnesota got off to a hot start on the offensive side of the ball, driving down 75 yards to take a 7-0 lead right off the bat. Matt Cassel went 4/4 and threw a touchdown to Matt Asiata. From there, things went downhill.

After a three-and-out from the Vikings defense, Matt Cassel skied a ball deep to Jarius Wright that ended up getting picked off by Patriots’ safety Logan Ryan. Ryan was pushed out of bounds at the Minnesota one, and Stevan Ridley punched it in a couple plays later.

The Vikings offense never really regained its footing after that first drive. The absence of Adrian Peterson was noticeable, with backup Matt Asiata getting 13 carries for a measly 36 yards. Rookie Jerick McKinnon was almost nonexistent in the run game, getting only 2 carries for 7 yards. McKinnon also caught 2 passes for 5 yards.

Greg Jennings recorded his 500th career reception late in the game. Darrelle Revis locked him down all game, and picked off Cassel in the second quarter.

New England defensive end Chandler Jones blocked a Blair Walsh field goal attempt at the end of the first half and returned it for a touchdown to make the score 24-7 at halftime.

After Cassel’s third interception, TCF Bank Stadium was echoing with loud chants of “Teddy! Teddy!” Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings much-anticipated rookie quarterback, lost the competition for the starting job to Cassel, despite strong preseason showings.

The Vikings remain tied for first in the division, however, as Detroit was beaten by Carolina 24-7.

 

 

Report: NFL Won’t Discipline Peterson Before Conviction

According to a report by Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, Adrian Peterson is next expected to be suspended unti he is convicted of child abuse.

Hubbuch tweeted “Source says Vikings don’t expect NFL to discipline Peterson unless he’s convicted. “You can indict a ham sandwich,” source said.”

Peterson was booked and released early Saturday morning in Texas.

The NFL’s personal conduct policy contains clauses that ban all criminal activity as well as “conduct that imposes inherent danger to the safety and well being of another person.” While Peterson’s actions can’t be considered criminal because he hasn’t been convicted yet, he has admitted to whipping his son. In my eyes, that counts as conduct that imposes inherent danger to the safety and well being of another person.

It’s at the NFL’s discretion of what falls under that category and what doesn’t.

I think Peterson will be suspended, it’s just a matter of when.

Patriots at Vikings NFL Week Two Inactives

New England – DL Michael Buchanan, LB Jamie Collins, CB Alfonzo Dennard, DL Zach Moore, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, OL Ryan Wendell, RB James White

Minnesota – DE Scott Crichton, LB Michael Mauti, RB Adrian Peterson, QB Christian Ponder, WR Rodney Smith, LB Brandon Watts, G David Yankey

Vikings Announce Week 2 Inactives

The Vikings announced their inactive list for Week 2 against New England, and there weren’t any surprises.

Vikings Inactives:

QB Christian Ponder

DE Scott Crichton

RB Adrian Peterson

G David Yankey

LB Michael Mauti

LB Brandon Watts

WR Rodney Smith

Smith, Crichton and Peterson are the players who weren’t active last week.

Peterson was arrested this week in Texas.

Crichton and Smith are backups who barely played last week in St. Louis.

Active today is tight end MarQueis Gray, a University of Minnesota alum who should backup Kyle Rudolph. He was inactive last week just after being signed.

Also active is running back Joe Banyard. Banyard was promoted yesterday from the practice squad to replace Adrian Peterson. Zach Line was released to make room for him.

Cornerback Shaun Prater is the other guy who was inactive last week and was activated at home against New England.

 

Vikings at Patriots: 3 Keys to Victory

Many gave the Vikings no chance to win this game after it was announce that Adrian Peterson would be deactivated. They chose not to acknowledge that Minnesota scored 34 points last week with their star running back getting no touchdowns and 64 yards. Here’s what the Vikes need to do to become 2-0:

1. Establish a Ground Game

The Vikings offense is built around it’s running back. Matt Asiata is a significant downgrade from Adrian Peterson, but he’s still an OK RB. The Minnesota offensive line is top 5 in the league at run blocking, so most running backs could succeed in this system. New England’s run defense was bad last week in Miami, allowing 191 yards in the ground to Knowshon Moreno and the Dolphins. Beating the Patriots with the run will open up the passing lanes and decrease the threat of a Darrelle Revis interception. Expect for Norv Turner to call some more plays with Cordarrelle Patterson in the backfield. It’s almost a necessity to get the ball in the hand of “Flash'” at least 15 times a game.

2. Sack the Quarterback

Tom Brady will absolutely torch the Viking secondary. He can’t torch anything if he’s flat on his back. In Week 1, the Vikings defense tallied 5 sacks, and Anthony Barr forced a Harrison Smith pick-six by crushing the Rams quarterback. The St. Louis offensive line wasn’t that awful, either. The Patriots offensive line is, plain and simple, awful. Last week, Miami was able to notch 4 sacks, 7 QB hits and 18 hurries. That number could rise this week with a rejuvenated Minnesota defense. Starting Center Ryan Wendell was limited in practice this week, so his status for today’s game is uncertain.

3. Force Turnovers

Last week was refreshing for Vikings fans, who are not used to playmaking by the secondary. Not only did free safety Harrison Smith take an interception 80 yards to the house, but third-year cornerback Josh Robinson made a spectacular play, dragging his toes to stay inbound on a diving pick of Shaun Hill. Interceptions and turnovers like those would be huge against a potent New England offense commandeered by Tom Brady. The Dolphins were unable to pick him off, but with exotic blitzes such as that with Barr last week, don’t be surprised if a Vikings defensive back ends up with the ball in his hands.

What to Do Without Adrian Peterson

On Friday afternoon, news broke that Adrian Peterson had been indicted on child abuse charges in Texas. Through his attorney, Peterson admitted to repeatedly whipping his son with a switch.

The Vikings announced that they would deactivate their star running back for Sunday’s game at home against New England. He could be out for much longer, as the NFL just introduced a new domestic violence penalty for a first offense, a six-game suspension. There’s also the issue of possible jail time, but Peterson’s trial would likely begin in the offseason.

This all raises the question, what does Minnesota do without their best player?

There are two options at running back: Jerick McKinnon was a 4th round pick in 2014. Matt Asiata had been in and off the practice squad before being promoted to backup running back last year. Obviously, both are a significant downgrade from Peterson, but it’s all the Vikings have got.

McKinnon was drafted with the idea that he would become the primary third down back that Peterson isn’t. He hasn’t been that impressive, but has shown flashes with his blinding speed and quickness. He needs to work on his field vision and breaking of tackles. I wouldn’t be surprised if Norv a Turner worked in some plays to get McKinnon to the edge against New England, where he can pick up yardage. Asiata is probably better between the tackles, but McKinnon can be used as a receiver out of the backfield as well as a running back.

It should be noted that McKinnon tweeted “Overcoming adversity is what makes you great! My big bruh and mentor AP is certainly that and no doubt he will overcome this too!”

Asiata figures to be the Vikings’ first option at running back this week. Last season, he gave the impression that he was just a goal-line back good for a yard or two against Philadelphia. He had 31 one touches for 51 yards, but also had three touchdowns.

Against Detroit, he showed the running back he is capable of being, with 14 carries for 115 yards. Vikings fans would be extremely satisfied with that performance on Sunday vs. the Patriots.

Asiata came into camp looking lighter and speedier. Now, it’s his chance to shine. Asiata isn’t a bad blocker or pass catcher, but he’s just not a very evasive runner.

Joe Banyard could be promoted from the practice squad as the third running back. Although he looked good in the preseason, don’t expect him to touch the ball much, if ever.

Norv Turner has a lot on his hands without the centerpiece of his offense. Look for Turner to spread the ball around with screens, reverses and short passes out of the backfield. There probably won’t be a lot of run plays between the tackles with the absence of Peterson.

 

Still, Asiata is capable of being an alright running back and can perform decently on Sunday.

Notebook: Vikings Work Out Free Agents, Make Roster Moves

Fresh off a convincing Week 1 victory at St. Louis, the Minnesota Vikings front office got right back to work on Monday and Tuesday. They brought in several free agents for a work out, signed a player to the practice squad and released another.

Surprisingly, both players worked out were drafted by New England, the Vikings’ Week 2 opponent.

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Halapio was the Patriots’ sixth round selection in 2014 out of Florida. He isn’t a talented athlete, but makes up for what he doesn’t have in talent with his brains and mentality. Nolan Nawrocki of NFL.com describes him as having a “…warrior’s mentality–plays hurt.” Nawrocki adds that Halapio’s “…best traits are intangibles.”

This workout makes you wonder how the Vikings feel about in-house options at guard. Could David Yankey’s job be in danger? Maybe Vlad Ducasse could be on his way out.

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Beauharnais was picked by the Pats’ in the seventh draft of the 2013 draft. He’s a hard hitter, but not great in coverage. Beauharnais has drawn comparisons to Desmond Bishop, who was with the Vikings last year.

This could signify some uncertainty with the linebacker corps, particularly those backups such as Gerald Hodges, Michael Mauti and Brandon Watts.

Monday, the team reportedly parted ways with safety Jamarca Sanford, who began the season on Injured Reserve. After spending five years with the club that drafted him, Sanford reached on injury settlement with the Vikes and was released. He is eligible to sign with any other NFL team, but is not permitted to resign with Minnesota.

The Vikings had a couple of injuries to key players Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes. Neither practiced today, but both claim to be ready to go on Sunday. Whether they will play or not remains to be seen. Back at practice today were fullback Zach Line and linebacker Michael Mauti, both of whom were ruled OUT in last week’s injury report.