<
>

Jerome Simpson likely to play

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson likely will play this weekend despite having been charged Wednesday with third-degree DWI.

Coach Leslie Frazier would not reveal, however, whether Simpson would start against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, nine days after his arrest.

Simpson was charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated after a Minnesota State Patrol officer arrested him early last Saturday. His blood-alcohol content level was 0.095, which is over Minnesota's legal limit of 0.08. The receiver could face further discipline for violating the terms of his probation following a September 2011 arrest for a drug-related offense.

Frazier said the Vikings have been in contact with the league about Simpson's legal situation and suggested the Vikings have to be careful about how much of their own discipline they levy before the NFL acts.

"It definitely is a factor," Frazier said. "There are some things you have to be aware of, pertaining to the CBA and the union, so that factors in. That's part of why we're having these conversations with the league office, so we can do it the right way."

If the Vikings decide to bench Simpson or limit his involvement in the passing game, they could feature rookie Cordarrelle Patterson more prominently.

Patterson caught his first touchdown pass as a receiver in the Vikings' win over the Washington Redskins last Thursday, and Frazier said the team had been planning to get him more involved in the passing game anyway. Simpson's situation could lead to more first-team snaps for Patterson in practice this week.

"That was a part of the plan anyway, and it definitely will be a part of the plan now, with some of the concerns that we have," Frazier said.