It's sort of a perfect storm of issues for Simpson, one part injury, one part being behind due to suspension and, frankly, one part not being the receiver some thought he was based on his 2011 numbers.
That isn't to say he's a waste of money or a bust—just that perhaps the expectations around him need to be adjusted.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is quoted in Goessling's article as saying they need to have him run a wider variety of routes than they have.
Which brings it back to him still catching up to the rest of the offense.
The other thing here, and the article isn't talking about it, but let's be honest—Christian Ponder is much better off right now with a short, conservative game plan.
Can they stretch the field? Sure. Should they? To an extent.
Ponder will get to a point where he is better downfield, but he has had issues with pressure and some bad choices. The last thing the Vikings want is to push him into a position he is not comfortable with yet.
When you have Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson, you really don't have to either.
Simpson's time will come—even if it isn't until late in the season or next year. He will grow with Ponder, and that takes time.
On to some more football news for the NFC North.
The staff at ESPN Chicago do their weekly 'Four Downs' and cover topics including whether Chris Johnson will run for 100 yards this weekend and if this weekend's game is a 'trap' game.
Newly-acquired Lion Mike Thomas hopes to have an impact right away according to MLive.com's Anwar Richardson.
Justin Durant looks forward to playing against his former teammates this Sunday says the Free Press' Dave Birkett.
The Detroit News' Josh Katzenstein reports on rookie Bill Bentley's shoulder surgery, which put him on injured reserve.
Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin reports that injured Packers safety/cornerback/hot dog vendor Charles Woodson spoke at a rally this week supporting President Obama's re-election and pledging to donate $100,000 to Hurricane relief on the East Coast.
As an East Coaster, I appreciate the impulse. I'm lucky, I have power. A lot of folks don't, so if you have a chance and the means to donate, there are many folks who need it.
ESPN North Blog writer Kevin Seifert takes a look at what happened with Sidney Rice when he left the Vikings.
A deal for a wide receiver was never something the Vikings were focusing on at the trade deadline, according to Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500.
Dan Weiderer of the Star-Tribune says the Vikings must plug up the holes in the run defense with Marshawn Lynch stepping on the field Sunday.
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