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Updated: October 14th, 2012 2:00pm
Vikings 'just didn't feel comfortable' playing receiver Jerome Simpson

Vikings 'just didn't feel comfortable' playing receiver Jerome Simpson

by Tom Pelissero
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LANDOVER, Md. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said all week Jerome Simpson was getting better. Apparently, that wasn't good enough.

The Vikings deactivated their starting split end for Sunday's game at Washington because of the back problem that has been causing weakness in one of Simpson's feet, preventing him from pushing off.

"Just didn't feel comfortable with what I was seeing in practice, in a couple different areas," coach Leslie Frazier said after the game. "Thought it would be a good idea to give him a little bit more time, to have a full week of practice and try to get back on the field too help us."

The problem first surfaced one week ago, before the Vikings' win over Tennessee. Simpson played only 24 snaps in that game and didn't have a catch.

Two days of tests revealed the issue with Simpson's back, which is believed to be related to a disc. He didn't practice on Wednesday, was limited on Thursday and Friday and was listed as questionable on the injury report. But Frazier said he knew after Saturday's walkthrough Simpson wasn't going to make it.

In his absence, Michael Jenkins had his best game, catching six passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.

"We've got a lot of playmakers at the wide receiver position," quarterback Christian Ponder said. "Obviously, we want him back. But we're making plays without him."

The Vikings deactivated four receivers for the game, with rookie Jarius Wright inactive as he has been all season. Also inactive were cornerback Brandon Burton, safety Mistral Raymond (ankle), linebacker Marvin Mitchell (calf) and offensive lineman Mark Asper.

As expected, quarterback Robert Griffin III (concussion) was active for the Redskins, who deactivated receiver Pierre Garcon (foot), along with No. 3 quarterback Rex Grossman, cornerback Cedric Griffin (hamstring), safety Brandon Meriweather (knee), end Doug Worthington (calf) and guards Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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