EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings receiver Greg Jennings unexpectedly missed his first game of 2013 on Sunday after he was listed as probable against the Seattle Seahawks with an Achilles injury.
Coach Leslie Frazier didn't know until Saturday night that Jennings may not be able to go, less than 24 hours before he was also planning to limit another receivers' reps for disciplinary reasons.
"There was nothing in my mind that made me think on Friday that he wouldn't be able to go. It wasn't until maybe Saturday night when I talked to him right before our team meeting that I got a hint that there was a potential chance that he might not be able to go," Frazier said. "And even then I thought he'd be fine."
Jennings hit the free agent market last year to mixed results after he had missed 11 games in his last two seasons as a Green Bay Packer. A surprise inactive to fans and media, and even his coach, Jennings' availability is going to be a little more guarded with his Achilles injury from here on out.
The Vikings make their annual trip to Lambeau Field on Sunday, where Jennings can finish out the series against his former team - if he's healthy on game day.
"I have to be careful to predict that now, because I really felt like [Jennings] would be able to go in this last ball game and it didn't work out," Frazier said. "So I have to watch him go through practice and see him do some things to be certain."
Frazier benched receiver Jerome Simpson, recently charged with third-degree DWI, for one play on Sunday before he jumped into the game. Simpson's 31 snaps were the fewest among the Vikings' five available receivers. Receiver Rodney Smith played a few snaps in four- and five-receiver sets.
It was speculated that Jennings' absence played a part in Simpson's early play on Sunday, but they occupy two separate receiver positions on the field. Frazier said Jennings' availability will factor very little into whether or not Simpson starts on Sunday.
"I don't know what happens with Greg will play in great detail with that decision," Frazier said. "I don't think it will be relevant."