Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson has been suspended for three games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, his second such punishment in three seasons.
The league announced the punishment Friday, putting Simpson on the sideline until Sept. 22 when the Vikings begin practice for Week 4. Simpson will sit out games against St. Louis, New England and New Orleans.
Simpson traveled to NFL headquarters last week for an appeal hearing, but his effort ultimately had no effect on the ban. Simpson was arrested last November on suspicion of drunken driving, and in January he pleaded guilty to careless driving and refusing to submit to a chemical test.
Simpson missed the first three games in 2012 after a felony drug conviction.
Teams make cuts
Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was released by the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday, among a handful of players out of jobs — for now — as NFL teams started to trim their rosters to get down to the mandatory 53 players by Saturday afternoon.
Green-Ellis was Cincinnati's top rusher the last two seasons, but the running back with the amusing nickname was made expendable once the Bengals drafted Louisiana State's Jeremy Hill in the second round in May. Cincinnati also waived linebacker Brandon Joiner, defensive tackle LaKendrick Ross and quarterback Tyler Wilson.
Also among the announced cuts: Buffalo punter Brian Moorman and quarterback Jordan Palmer, Tampa Bay kicker Connor Barth, Jacksonville center Mike Brewster, Atlanta linebacker Pat Angerer and Chicago running back Jordan Lynch, a former Heisman trophy finalist as a quarterback at Northern Illinois.
Rookie Dallas safety Ahmad Dixon has been fined $22,050 for a hit on Miami receiver Matt Hazel in a preseason game last week. … Outside linebacker James Harrison met with the Arizona Cardinals on Friday but won't sign with the team because the two sides couldn't agree on a contract. Harrison's agent, William Parise, said Harrison had a physical and met with Coach Bruce Arians but the prospective deal broke down over money. … A change of plea hearing is set for Tuesday for Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who faces drug-related charges following a March traffic stop. Hamilton County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Andre Miksha said Friday a not guilty plea had previously been entered on behalf of the 55-year-old Colts owner.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times