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Updated: October 8th, 2012 8:00pm
Jerome Simpson's lower-leg weakness is tied to issue with his back

Jerome Simpson's lower-leg weakness is tied to issue with his back

by Judd Zulgad
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson underwent an MRI on Monday that revealed it's an issue with his back that is causing weakness and numbness in his lower leg, according to an NFL source.

However, it remains unclear exactly what the problem is with Simpson's back and the veteran will undergo more tests.

Simpson was limited in Sunday's game against Tennessee after waking up with weakness and numbness in one of his legs.

Vikings coach Leslies Frazier said Monday afternoon at his press conference that he initially learned of the issue in a text message from head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman on Sunday morning.

"It wasn't the conversation I expected to have on the day of the game," Frazier said. "We had a big package (of plays) for Jerome in this game. We really felt like there were some things that we could utilize his abilities and make some plays for us.

"We took him out on the field and began to try to do some things just so I could get a gauge of, 'Should we have him up? Are we going to have to put him (on the inactive list)?' Where things are. So it wasn't until just a few hours before the game that he came in and told us that he was having some weakness. Really couldn't push off on that leg. It was a quandary for him and for all of us.

"Our doctors took a look at him and they, after we worked him out, didn't feel like he was going to be in jeopardy if he played."

Simpson, who signed with the Vikings as a free agent this offseason and is expected to provide the offense with a downfield threat, was suspended by the NFL for the first three games of this season and made his 2012 debut on Sept. 30 at Detroit. It's unclear what caused Simpson to experience this issue.

"This has never happened to him before," Frazier said. "This was completely new for him, so as you can imagine, it scared him."

Frazier said Monday that everything he has been told suggests Simpson won't be lost for a significant amount of time. But that could be different now that more testing will be required.

Frazier said Simpson was fine when he was walking but had issues with pushing off.

"We were hoping that as time went on he'd regain that feeling over the course of the game," Frazier said. "Just in talking with doctors, they felt like that was possible. It did get a little bit better but not to the point where he felt completely comfortable."

Halfback Adrian Peterson suffered a mild sprain of his left ankle and should be fine going forward, Frazier said.

Linebacker Marvin Mitchell (calf) and safety Andrew Sendejo (ankle) should return to practice this week.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd