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49ers WR Jerome Simpson suspended six games

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The San Francisco 49ers shared some news on Tuesday they'd long expected: They will begin a new season without wide receiver Jerome Simpson.

The team announced that the NFL has suspended Simpson six games for violating the league's policy and program for substances of abuse. Simpson can return to the active roster on October 19, the day after the team's Week 6 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

"The probability of a suspension was known when we signed Jerome," general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement released by the team. "Since joining the 49ers, Jerome has proven to be a great teammate."

Simpson's off-the-field issues occurred during his time with the Minnesota Vikings. The team released the veteran wide receiver last September after learning of a July arrest on charges of driving on a limited driver's license, possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle and open bottle in a motor vehicle.

The charges represented the third incident Simpson had faced since 2012. In March of that year, Simpson pleaded guilty to a felony charge resulting from two pounds of marijuana being shipped to his home in Kentucky in September 2011. Simpson had nearly completed a three-game suspension connected to a November 2013 DWI when he was released by the Vikings.

Before off-the-field troubles derailed his career, Simpson was a productive player. In 2013, he finished second on Vikings with 48 catches and 726 receiving yards. He signed a two-year, $1.7 million contract with the 49ers in April.

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