Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson has lost his appeal and will be suspended for the first three games of the 2014 regular season, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Simpson was arrested for DWI last November but avoided jail time after pleading guilty, being sentenced instead to probation and community service. In 2012, Simpson was arrested on a marijuana-related charge and received a three-game suspension from the NFL.
The receiver signed a one-year contract with the Vikings in the offseason worth $1 million. Last year, Simpson hauled in 48 passes for 726 yards and 1 TD. In 2012, Simpson caught 26 balls for 274 yards. The contract he signed this offseason was his third straight one-year deal with the Vikings.
The Vikings are counting on Simpson to provide a deep threat as the #3 receiver in Norv Turner’s new offense. It’s been a quiet preseason for Simpson, who is not believed to be in any danger of getting cut despite the suspension.
With Simpson out for three games, the Vikings will likely turn to third-year receiver Jarius Wright as their #3. Preseason hero Adam Thielen was also in line for more work but he suffered a hip injury in the team’s final preseason game and his status is now up in the air.
Second-year receiver Rodney Smith and rookie Kain Colter are also in the mix as the Vikings seek to fill out their receiver corps.
The athletic Simpson has talent as a wide receiver but has never fully realized his potential, thanks to a combination of disciplinary issues, physical setbacks and on-field concentration lapses.