Jerome Simpson proclaimed himself 100 percent Wednesday as the Vikings begin their preparation for the Arizona Cardinals. It is a 180-degree difference from the last couple of weeks, when Simpson woke up before the Tennessee game with tingling and numbness in his leg and was limited against the Titans and deactivated last week at Washington.
The symptoms he had have gone away and he's back to feeling normal, but the persisting question he has is the confusion as to exactly what the problem was, why it occurred and why it just as mysteriously disappeared.
"It feels good," Simpson said. "I don't really know what was wrong with it. You'd have to ask the medical staff about that. It just happened. It feels better now and whatever it was, it's gone away."
Simpson was back practicing with the Vikings on Wednesday after being limited much of last week.
Not understanding what the issue was, Simpson said, was unnerving when it happened because it was new to him and, as a finely tuned athlete, having a leg feeling like it was asleep could potentially take away his livelihood.
"It's was very scary," Simpson said. "I've never experienced anything like that before. Then just to wake up with it out of the blue, it frightened me."
Simpson said the improvement in the leg has come along incrementally. It didn't simply vanish, but he said he could feel the improvement coming from one day to the next.
"It gradually got better with treatment, following it up with the medical staff and just doing what I'm supposed to do," Simpson said. "Hopefully it doesn't come back and isn't a reoccurring problem."
Another part of the confusion is that the diagnosis centered on a combination of back and leg injuries, giving the impression that the numbness in his leg may have been related to a nerve in his back or a blood flow issue. Simpson refuted that contention, saying that none of his recovery treatment had anything to do with his back.
"It was on my leg," Simpson said. "They did nothing with my back. It was just tightness in my leg that really was causing the problem. I couldn't raise my leg like I normally can."
The concern Simpson had was just as much to do with his financial health as with his physical condition. The one-year contract Simpson signed with the Vikings had an $800,000 base salary, a $250,000 workout bonus and a $950,000 roster bonus. That last figure is paid out in 16 installments for each week he on the 46-man game-day roster, meaning he lost $59,375 for being inactive last week. Considering that he had already lost close to $180,000 for the three-game suspension he served to start the season, taking another hit to the wallet was just as painful as his ailing leg.
"If you lose $60,000, you'd be mad too," Simpson said. "I'm just a competitor. I just want to be out there on that field. Any time something gets taken away from you, you're obviously going to be upset about it. $60,000. You'd be mad too."
His contract situation is significant enough that Simpson was asked if he potentially could keep injuries a secret from the coaching and medical staff if there was a problem?
"The situation I'm in, kind of," Simpson said. "But, (with) injuries, you kind of think of the long-term affect (of playing hurt). At the end, you think about what's best for the team and Coach Frazier did what was best for the team and that was deactivating me."
With his problems behind him, hopefully for good, Simpson said he's looking forward to getting back to normal – being paid to play football at a high level. He said when Sunday's game with the Cardinals comes around, he will be on the field and doing what he does best.
"I'm a playmaker and I'm looking to make big plays," Simpson said. "I'm fired up regardless of the situation. I try to take the same approach every week – just being fiery and moving on to that next game."
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Simpson says he's 100 percent, wallet isn't
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