Ongoing Concern Or Temporary Setback?

When Vikings coach Brad Childress snatched Percy Harvin just one spot (22) ahead of the Patriots pick (23) in the 2009 Draft, it was considered a coupe for the Minnesota coach. Yet nearly a year later, the Patriots may have fared better than Childress' Vikings as Harvin has had trouble staying healthy while New England's picks ( Vollmer, Butler, Chung) continue to improve.

Although nothing is official yet, this should be the week that second-year wide receiver Percy Harvin reports back to work for the Minnesota Vikings. [Editor's note: Story was written before Harvin reported on Monday Aug 16]

The team's first-round draft choice in 2009, Harvin has missed virtually all of training camp, grieving for his recently-deceased grandmother and also battling the debilitating migraine headaches that plagued him as a rookie.

Harvin left camp July 31 and hasn't participated in practice since then. He has been recuperating at home while the team practiced at Mankato State.

The club recently issued him a "five day letter," normally demanding that an absent player return to the team. In this case, however, the move was strictly procedural, and made to gain Minnesota a roster exemption.

The former University of Florida standout has been feeling better in recent days, and that is believed to be due to rest, more than any change in medication. Last year, Harvin missed several practices and one regular-season game because of migraines, and at one point sought input from the renowned Mayo Clinic.

Coach Brad Childress said this week he did not possess a "magic bean" to help address Harvin's physical ailments, and said after Saturday night's 28-7 victory over St. Louis that he did not have any updates on the wide receiver's condition.

In his rookie season, Harvin had 60 receptions for 790 yards and six touchdowns. He also returned 42 kickoffs for a 27.5-yard average and two touchdowns.

In addition to Harvin, 22, the Vikings have been without starting wide receiver Sidney Rice as he rehabilitates from a hip injury. The team's starting wide receivers Saturday were veterans Bernard Berrian and Greg Lewis. Sixteen different receivers registered catches for Minnesota on Saturday night.

The Vikings are counting on Rice and Harvin, though, to be major playmakers in a passing game that still doesn't have quarterback Brett Favre aboard.

Len Pasquarelli's column is courtesy of The Sports Xchange, all rights reserved.

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