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Vikings’ Receiver Simpson Gets 3-Game NFL Ban for Drug Violation

Wide Receiver Jerome Simpson
Wide receiver Jerome Simpson, seen here playing for the Cincinnati Bengals. Photographer: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

June 12 (Bloomberg) -- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson was suspended without pay for the first three games of the National Football League’s regular season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Simpson, 26, signed with the Vikings as a free agent in April after playing for the Cincinnati Bengals last season and catching 50 passes for 725 yards and four touchdowns.

Just before he signed with the Vikings, Simpson received a 15-day jail sentence and three years’ probation after pleading guilty to a felony drug charge in Kentucky. He faced a charge of marijuana trafficking after investigators found 2 1/2 pounds of the drug shipped to his Kentucky home in September 2011.

Simpson can participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games, the NFL said in an e-mailed statement. After sitting out regular-season games against Jacksonville, Indianapolis and San Francisco, he’ll be eligible to return to the Vikings’ active roster on Sept. 24.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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