Notebook: Surgery not expected for Harvin
"It certainly is disappointing that I was not able to finish out this season with my teammates," Harvin said in the statement. "As a competitor I definitely wanted to get back out on the field, but my injury has just not allowed me to progress to the point where I can help our team.
"I appreciate the efforts of our medical staff and the support of our fans in helping me through this process and look forward to coming back stronger and better than ever."
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier declined to get into specifics about the severity of Harvin's ankle injury, but he admitted there was some ligament damage. However, surgery wasn't expected to be necessary.
"He should not have to have surgery. At least we're hoping that," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "They'll continue to go through what they're going through. I'm hoping, got my fingers crossed, that won't be the case."
After vague comments Wednesday about all the factors on why Harvin is not able to play more than a month after the injury, Frazier said Thursday the injury was the only reason Harvin was placed on season-ending injured reserve.
"He made some progress at times, but it was incremental … not the progress we needed to see along the way, so we've got to step back a little bit and try to do the things that are necessary for him and best for us and let him concentrate on getting well," Frazier said. "He's such a valuable commodity. You don't want to do anything that's going to create some long-term ill effects."
Frazier said no decision has been made on where Harvin will do his rehab, but he was still in Minnesota as of Thursday.
The Vikings haven't made a corresponding roster move, but they were expected to discuss the possibilities Thursday night.
COOK BEGINS PRACTICING
Vikings cornerback Chris Cook has returned to practice, but the first game he would be able to play in would be against the Houston Texans on Dec. 23, according to the new league rules that allow teams to place one player on injured reserve with the designation to return.
Cook suffered a broken forearm against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 25 and was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return after that. According to league rules under the new "designated to return" policy, Cook has to miss at least six games, meaning the Houston game is the first opportunity for him to return.
"It was good to see him out here today moving around, so we have to see how he progresses but that's the goal," Frazier said.
Cook has been eyeing the Houston game for weeks.
"When I saw the schedule come out and I saw Houston on there, that was one of my target games anyway," Cook said late last month. "Andre Johnson, as a corner you have to look forward to playing Andre Johnson. He's one of the best receivers in the league. If you can have a great game against him, then you can have a great game against anybody. That was my whole mindset when I saw Houston – that was the first person I thought about."
DE Jared Allen (shoulder/back) didn't participate in practice for the second straight day, but Frazier said there are no concerns about his availability for Sunday's game against Chicago.
RB Adrian Peterson also didn't practice, but that was just an effort to give him additional rest.
Also appearing on the Vikings injury report: TE Kyle Rudolph (shoulder), LB Jasper Brinkley (shoulder), T Phil Loadholt (knee), C John Sullivan (ribs/knee) and CB Antoine Winfield (knee) were limited.
In addition to LB Brian Urlacher (hamstring), the Bears have now ruled out WR Earl Bennett (concussion) for the Vikings game, too.
RB Michael Bush (ribs) and CB Tim Jennings (shoulder) also were held out of Thursday's practice.
DT Stephen Paea (foot), OL Gabe Carimi (hamstring), WR Devin Hester (concussion), WR Alshon Jeffery (knee) and G Chris Spencer (knee) were limited for the Bears.
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.
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