Vikings receiver Percy Harvin appeared only for the stretching portion of Friday’s practice, leaving after that with trainers, presumably for more treatment on his sprained left ankle.
Head coach Leslie Frazier said Harvin could barely put weight on the ankle. He is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.
“Percy gave it a try in pre-practice and really couldn’t put a lot of weight on that ankle at this point,” Frazier said. “Percy is the only guy that’s in question.”
Frazier said earlier in the week that Harvin would likely have to practice during the week in order to be active.
“I think after the time we’ve had off it would be good for him to get some work,” Frazier said Wednesday, acknowledging at that time it was too early to tell if Harvin will be ready to play.
Harvin was still walking with a pronounced limp even with his ankle taped Friday morning.
“It took the swelling a little longer to get out than we anticipated. We finally got it out,” Harvin said Wednesday before practice.
If Harvin doesn’t play, it would mark only the second game in his career he will have missed for anything besides migraines.
Fourth-round pick Jarius Wright filled in for Harvin the following week and caught a 54-yard touchdown on the team’s opening series. He finished with three catches for 65 yards in his first game active.
Frazier said Wright would be active against the Bears whether Harvin plays or not.
“He showed that he’s ready to get in some game action so we’re going to have him up for sure,” Frazier said Friday, acknowledging that Wright has also gotten some work in practice as an outside receiver.
It would be the third straight week, including a bye, that Harvin doesn’t play because of the sprained ankle that had him on crutches the day after it happened.
Harvin said he sprained the ankle in three different places in the second half of a loss at Seattle on Nov. 4. He limped slowly off the field under his own power after being tended to by the Vikings’ medical staff and returned to the game, but he hasn’t played since.
Harvin said Wednesday he just began walking on his left foot on Tuesday but was still hoping to practice this week.
He tested the ankle before Wednesday’s practice, according to offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, but he didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday either.
Harvin said he spent the team’s bye week doing work in the pool, getting treatment with icing and stimulation, and joked that he probably tried out every machine in the training room.
In six games against the Bears, Harvin has 36 receptions for 470 yards and three touchdowns. In their last meeting on Jan. 1, 2012, Harvin caught 10 passes for 115 yards in a 17-13 Bears win.
Before being hurt, he was tied for first in the NFL in receptions (62), first in combined yards (96 rushing, 677 receiving and 574 returning), first in yards after the catch and first in the NFC in kickoff return average (35.9). He entered this weekend’s games tied for eighth in receptions and is second in kickoff return average. He has caught a pass in every game (56) he has played in his career.
In addition to Harvin being listed as doubtful, the Vikings also listed G Charlie Johnson (toe) and DT Letroy Guion (foot), both starters, as questionable.
Wide receiver Michael Jenkins, who was limited Wednesday and Thursday with a foot injury, was a full participant Friday and listed as probable. Five other Vikings – CB Antoine Winfield (knee), DE Jared Allen (shoulder), WR Stephen Burton (ankle), P Chris Kluwe (knee) and RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) – were also probable.
The Bears listed QB Jay Cutler (concussion) as questionable, along with TE Kellen Davis (ankle). Both were limited in Friday’s practice. Cutler reportedly still has to be cleared by an independent neurologist to play Sunday.
Bear WR Alshon Jeffery (knee) won’t play Sunday. The Bears also listed eight players as probable – Lance Briggs, Jason Campbell, Lance Louis, Brandon Marshall, Shea McClellin, Stephen Paea, Julius Peppers, Matt Toeaina – and all of them were full participants in Friday’s practice.
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.