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Updated: August 19th, 2014 12:50pm
Would Simpson suspension make Vikings take sixth receiver?

Would Simpson suspension make Vikings take sixth receiver?

by Derek Wetmore
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- With wide receiver Jerome Simpson possibly facing a three-game suspension, offensive coordinator Norv Turner talked Tuesday about the need for contingency plans.

He wouldn't directly address whether the Vikings will take six wide receivers on their roster or if they'll stick with five. And since Simpson is appealing to the league to get the suspension eliminated, it's likely the team hasn't made its final decision on where to draw the line.

Turner did say, however, that whether it's an off-the-field issue, like Simpson's, or an injury, the need for a backup plan is ever-present.

"You have to have a varied plan and unfortunately in this game, guys miss [games]," Turner said. "We have plans. And there are certain plays that Simp is really good on and other guys will have to fill in if he's not in for that play."

Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarius Wright seem like locks to make the team. Assuming Simpson makes the team, that would appear to make four spots to count on.

Adam Thielen has had an impressive training camp after spending last season on the practice squad. With his receiving and special teams contributions, he seems like a good bet to make the roster.

Rodney Smith is another player getting some attention, and could potentially make the team when the roster is trimmed from 90 down 53 players by the start of the regular season.

"Both those guys have stepped up," Turner said when asked about Thielen and Smith. "Early, I think Adam was having a more consistent camp, but as we've gone through these last couple weeks Rodney is really making a move.

"The thing I always say ... if you make enough plays there's room for you on a team. Those are decisions that obviously Coach Zimmer and Rick Spielman are ultimately going to have to make."

There's also the waiver wire if the team doesn't feel it has enough competent options to fill out the necessary depth at the position.

Turner wouldn't say Tuesday how many receivers he'd like to take. As is often the case, the needs elsewhere -- the defensive secondary, for example -- could dictate how many roster spots will be available for receivers.

"That's the hardest question because from an offensive standpoint we want every guy we can get. From a team standpoint ... you've got to make a decision," Turner said. "But we can make it work. We've got enough versatile players that we can be in a lot of different personnel groups, so we can adjust to whichever way we go."

Turner touted the group's versatility and said he has "a lot of guys who can stretch the field and get deep." He mentioned Jennings, who is thought of as more of a possession receivers, as a player who can stretch defenses.

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore
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