I believe this is first if NFL history: Police found eight pounds of marijuana at the home of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson on Wednesday, and Simpson will be in the starting line-up on Sunday.
Chris Mortensen was the first to hit us with the news. From ESPN:
The organization believes Simpson, who has been active in community charities, should get the benefit of the doubt under the position of "innocent until proven guilty," team and league sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.
"Jerome's legal situation with regard to events of the past week remains completely unresolved, and the Bengals believe it is not appropriate to act on any presumption of what may transpire," [a statement released by the Bengals read].
I'm a firm believer in "innocent until proven guilty", and I suppose, when all is said and done, that I should applaud the Bengals for their presumption of innocence. It beats Roger Goodell's presumption of guilt.
But when we're dealing with eight pounds of marijuana? And a home authorities believe is set up as a distribution network? I think most organizations would play it safe and let the guy sit.
These are the Bengals, though. No one's ever going to confuse Marvin Lewis with a harsh disciplinarian. This organization has never done things in the traditional way. Or, for that matter, a way that leads to any sort of sustained success.
The Bengals host the 49ers at 1 p.m. EST.