Jerome Simpson's first four answers to questions Monday were one-word replies, reflecting his frustration with being made inactive for Sunday's game because of a back ailment.
The synopsis to The Opening four questions: Simpson is now feeling "great," "yes" he is ready to play Sunday, "yes" everything is full-speed ahead in his recovery, and it felt "terrible" to sit against the Redskins.
The start to Monday's session with reporters would seem to be about as terse as the normally jovial Simpson gets. He's simply struggling to come to terms with the fact that, after serving a three-game suspension, the last two games have included being limited to 35 percent of the snaps against the Tennessee Titans and being inactive against the Washington Redskins.
"I missed the first three games and I'm just a competitor and I just want to be out there playing, helping my guys any way I can," Simpson said, expressing frustration with head coach Leslie Frazier's decision to keep Simpson out of Sunday's game.
"Me being a competitor I always want to play the game, play in the game, so I just have to go with his decision and what he thinks is best for the team."
Frazier said he had pretty much made up his mind to make Simpson inactive after seeing how he reacted to going through Saturday's walk-through.
Simpson said Monday "he can go through everything" and "I feel like Jerome Simpson" now. He also said he was experiencing tightness in his leg as a result of his back issues but felt it loosened up enough to play late last week.
"He kind of had an idea of where I was headed, but in his heart he wants to play," Frazier said. "He's a competitor, which is what you appreciate about him. He wanted to be out there. But we'll see how it goes this week. He's a competitor. He wants to play. He wants to help our team win and we'll evaluate it this week."
Simpson tried to lobby Frazier "a lot" to make him active against the Redskins, but he also admitted that Frazier was trying to protect him after the back injury.
"It's hard to keep me off this field and it did," Simpson said. "Just like I said, (it's) coach just making the best decision for the team."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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