The NFL announced on Friday that Simpson has been suspended for the first three games of the 2014 season for violating the NFL's policy on substances of abuse.
A repeat offender, Simpson will now serve his second suspension in three years. His previous ban resulted from a felony conviction for mailing two pounds of marijuana to his Kentucky home. The latest suspension stems from a DUI arrest last November.
Second among Vikings receivers with 48 receptions and 726 yards last year, Simpson was slated to open this season in the No. 3 role. Expect to see Jarius Wright to pick up snaps alongside Patterson and Greg Jennings in three-receiver sets during Simpson's absence.