Simpson apologizes, Vikings deal with distraction

1:26 PM, Nov 11, 2013   |    comments
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Even with a few extra days of preparation, getting ready for the 9-1 Seattle Seahawks is a tall order.

Having a prominent player get arrested for DWI certainly doesn't help.

Both Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and wide receiver Jerome Simpson addressed reporters Monday, two days after Simpson was arrested for driving under the influence.

"I sincerely apologize for the attention that have brought to the fans, our community and myself," Simpson told reporters at Winter Park. The wide receiver, who is having his best year as a Viking, called his arrest a disappointment, but said he could not comment of the specifics of the case.

Simpson says he expects to play Sunday against the Seahawks, but his coach is not so sure.

"We'll see," said coach Frazier.

Frazier says the both the league and the Vikings could level discipline against Simpson, who has previous legal issues. He was forced to miss a handful of games after signing with the Vikings after being busted for receiving a shipment of marijuana at his home while playing with the Cincinnati Bengals.

There is the possibility Simpson could face another suspension as a repeat offender under the league's substance abuse policy.  

"It's unfortunate when this happens, you have to deal with it, but it's unfortunate for sure," added Frazier.

While a distraction, Jerome Simpson's legal situation will almost certainly have less impact on the club than the Vikings' injury woes. On the positive front Frazier told reporters that defensive backs Chris Cook and Jamarca Sanford took part in workouts. Both missed Thursday's game against Washington.

As for quarterback Christian Ponder, the coach says he's improving but needs to show his left shoulder has adequate strength to start against the Seahawks.

On another interesting note, Minnesota may have to face multi-talented former Viking Percy Harvin, who could return to the Seahawks lineup following hip surgery.  

"He's a very good player, they're a very good team, so we're going to have to play the best game possible in order to be successful," Frazier said.

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