One of the San Francisco 49ers splash free-agent signings from the offseason could finally make his team debut on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
After serving a six-game suspension and sitting out last Thursday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks due to the short week, Jerome Simpson has been a full participant in practice throughout the buildup to the team's Midwest road trip.
When asked about Simpson's status for Week 8, offensive coordinator Geep Chryst wouldn't divulge any details, but he did praise the veteran wideout for his preparedness.
"He did a nice job, when he wasn't playing, of being engaged," Chryst said on Thursday. "He's really well liked in the locker room. So we're just trying to get him back to running plays, plays that he's run in his past and trying to fit him in."
Simpson hasn't played in a regular season NFL contest since 2013, when he recorded 48 receptions for 726 yards in 16 games for the Minnesota Vikings. Whether or not Simpson will play versus the Rams will be known an hour and a half before kickoff, when San Francisco's seven inactive players are announced.
The other wide receivers on the 49ers roster include: Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington and DeAndrew White. Boldin did not practice on Friday, as he is battling a hamstring injury.
"You've got to move the checkers around a little bit in terms of those other receivers," Chryst said. "But we really like where that position is going and again, we hope to get Jerome ramped up because he's got a lot of juice."
3 other notes from Chryst**
1. In the Seahawks game, Jordan Devey and Andrew Tiller each were in on 23 snaps at right guard. Chryst said that the team will continue to use the rotation to play to the pair's strengths.
Tiller is known more for his run-blocking ability while Devey is better in passing downs.
"We feel like we're making strides," Chryst said. "But when you face a talented defensive line like Seattle is or like the Rams are, you're going to be tested. And that's the challenge of the game."
2. Pierre Garçon has dealt with a nagging foot injury over the last few weeks. Chryst was asked if the running back could do a better job at avoiding contact, instead of initiating it.
"I think that just comes with experience," Chryst said. "I don't think that his desire to get additional yards is a bad thing and the hits that he's taking, he's worked really hard to condition himself. I think it's just more specific to maybe where his foot is at in terms of effectiveness than, you know, spinning, trying to get an additional two or three yards.
"He's a competitive, tough player. We love having him on our team and we just want him back healthy as quick as possible."
3. In his last two road games in St. Louis, Colin Kaepernick has thrown for 510 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. Can he continue his success in the Edward Jones Dome?
"Kap's played well there," Chryst said. "But every season has it's own unique challenges. I think that you can draw from some of that, but you need to have your own game plan for this Sunday against this defense with where you're at with your team."