Percy Harvin, who has missed the last two games with a sprained left ankle and had an additional week of healing with the Vikings’ bye on Nov. 18, is making progress in his rehabilitation.
While his status for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers still isn’t determined, head coach Leslie Frazier is encouraged by the progress.
“We took him through some things here in the indoor (facility). He was OK, definitely not there yet, so we want to try to increase it a little bit today and see how he does,” Frazier said.
Harvin did go through individual drills and had his signature straight-line speed, but he had a pronounced limp yet when slowing down in his routes and wasn’t as quick in his ability to cut.
Harvin suffered his sprained left ankle against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 4 after leading the league with 62 receptions at that point. Since then, however, he hasn’t played.
He went through stretching exercises with the Vikings Friday before leaving practice and getting treatment on the ankle. On Saturday, the team downgraded him from “doubtful” to “out” on the injury report and he didn’t travel to Chicago.
“Percy is going to try to see what he can do and then we’ll get a better gauge post-practice, but he’ll attempt to do some things so we’ll get a better feel for where he is,” Frazier said before Wednesday’s practice.
Wednesday was the first time he has practiced beyond stretching since the injury.
“We’ve all got our fingers crossed. He’s made some progress,” Frazier told Green Bay reporters. “… We’re all hoping we get him back. We need him.”
The Vikings also got encouraging news on five new injuries on their radar after Sunday’s game with the Chicago Bears, including a shoulder sprain for star running back Adrian Peterson and concussions for tight end Kyle Rudolph and Harrison Smith.
Peterson’s practice routine isn’t expected to be affected, and Rudolph and Smith passed their post-concussion tests.
“To know that Kyle and Harrison have been cleared, that’s a big deal because they are two keys to our football team,” Frazier said.
However, Rudolph was held out of practice because of a recently revealed shoulder sprain that’s “giving him a little trouble,” according to Frazier. That isn’t expected to keep him from playing Sunday.
In addition to those injuries, middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley suffered a sprained AC, which is the area between the collarbone and shoulder blade, and right tackle Phil Loadholt has some inflammation in one his knees. Both of them were practicing on at least a limited basis.
Rudolph (concussion/shoulder) was the only Viking that didn’t practice. Harvin (ankle), LB Jasper Brinkley (shoulder), RT Phil Loadholt (knee), S Harrison Smith (concussion) and CB Antoine Winfield (knee) were limited. DE Jared Allen (shoulder/back), DT Letroy Guion (foot), RB Adrian Peterson (shoulder) and P Chris Kluwe (knee) were full participants.
For the Packers, DB Charles Woodson (collarbone) and CB Sam Shields (ankle) have already been ruled out. WR Donald Driver (thumb), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), DT Ryan Pickett (quad), RB Johnny White (concussion), DE C.J. Wilson (knee) didn’t practice Wednesday. S M.D. Jennings (rib), LB Terrell Manning (shoulder), T Marshall Newhouse (wrist) and TE Andrew Quarless (knee) were limited. WR Greg Jennings (groin/abdomen) was a full participant.
Despite his struggles as a first-year starter at right guard, Brandon Fusco will maintain his starting status and Geoff Schwartz will continue to rotate there. Schwartz got more snaps than Fusco for the first time this season against the Chicago Bears.
Jamarca Sanford will continue to be the starting safety alongside Harrison Smith despite Mistral Raymond getting back to full health and rotating in the last two games.
DE Jared Allen was fined $21,000 by the NFL for his blindside block on Chicago Bears G Lance Louis that left Louis on injured reserve with a torn ACL.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.