Percy Harvin may have hit his stride and proved his point. After playing 80 percent of the Minnesota Vikings' offensive snaps and being one of their most productive players, the lobbying for extended playing time may be over.
Or maybe not.
"It's a constant," Harvin said of his lobbying efforts. "Coach always wants to be hesitant, just on the kick returns and things like that. I told him I'm fine. I'll be fine. I'll be back there as much as possible so I don't think anything should change from game one."
The Vikings are hesitant to use Harvin too much, fearing his hard-charging style and the high-impact position of kick returner could leave him with an injury and unavailable when he is needed most. But after playing in only 58.4 percent of the offensive snaps last year and less than 7 percent of the special teams snaps, Harvin was on the field for 47 of the team's 59 offensive snaps and every one of their kickoff returns (22 percent of the special teams action).
"I don't really have a perfect number of snaps," Harvin said. "I'll let the coaches do their jobs in managing all that and I'll just go. I'm going to go and go and let them manage that."
Harvin said Monday his body was "as sore as anybody else" but he would be ready to practice again Wednesday.
There was little questioning Harvin's value Sunday, and Adrian Peterson knows it. While all eyes were on Peterson in his return from major knee surgery, he told KFAN-100.3 FM that the Vikings wouldn't have won the game without Harvin's contributions. He's probably right.
Besides helping to get the offense going after a sluggish start with three straight receptions at the end of the first half to set up the Vikings' first touchdown, Harvin's efforts continued throughout the game.
He had six catches for 84 yards, rushed five times for 20 yards and returned three kicks for 88 yards.
"We're always trying to find ways to get him the football, whether it's coming out of the backfield, lining up in the backfield, bending the slot or bending outside, reverses, kickoffs, whatever," Frazier said. "We're always trying to find ways to get him the ball and we'll continue to do that and give it to him in different ways. He's such a factor with the ball in his hands even if you have to do it on those smoke screens that we ran in this game.
"Whatever you have to do to get the ball in his hands to give him a chance to make plays, we've all seen the results of it. He turned what should have been maybe 3- or 4-yard gains into big plays for us. He is a special guy with that football in his hands."
Harvin's 192 combined yards was fifth-best in the NFL last week and his 29.3-yard average on kickoff returns was also fifth. After returning only 16 kickoffs last year, Harvin is hoping for more this year.
"The coach, we talked a lot. I'll be back there as much as I can, as much as they'll allow me to," he said. "I don't think anything should change from that."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Harvin didn't feel the pain of extended time
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