"They gave me the nod right before we went out," Simpson said. "I didn't know what to expect, but I was very excited. I played my best and tried to repay him by the way I played. I didn't want to get my hopes up. It was (Shula's) decision."
After the game, Shula said, "I think Juwan has been great since everything's happened. We all know what happened and he worked hard to prove himself to his teammates and to coaches. We are going to need his leadership."
Simpson's demeanor in interviews since the incident has been sometimes remorseful and other times glib. He now sports a defiant statement in the form of body art on his right bicep which reads, "Only God Gon' Judge Me".
Simpson said he got the tattoo over the summer. Asked its meaning, Simpson hesitated.
It speaks for itself?
"Yeah, it speaks for itself," he said.