Wide receiver Percy Harvin missed his first game while suffering from a migraine headache, but no one is questioning his toughness. He has played through injuries in the past, but the timing and intensity of the latest episode was too much.
Wide receiver Percy Harvin
did not play Sunday against Cincinnati after missing all of last week because of migraine headaches and the Vikings aren't sure when the explosive rookie will be able to return.
Their hope would be to get Harvin back for Sunday's game at Carolina but coach Brad Childress admitted after a 30-10 victory over Cincinnati that getting a read on Harvin's headaches isn't an easy thing to do.
"That's a thing that none of us have a great feel for," Childress said. "They are so wide-ranging and people report different things. It's different for different people. As coaches you want to put it in a box. ‘What is it? It's a fractured femur. Well, how long is that?' We will get up to speed as we go through next week and he will work as hard as anything."
There is no one in the Minnesota locker room who questions Harvin's toughness. That's another reason why this issue is a concern. Harvin has played on at least three occasions this season after suffering from migraines in the days before a game and he also continued to play despite a painful shoulder injury that he suffered in Week 5 and then re-injured.
Harvin has made himself the leading candidate for NFL offensive rookie of the year. He is second on the Vikings with 48 receptions for 681 yards and six touchdowns and is among the NFL leaders in kickoff returns with an average of 29 yards on 34 attempts and two touchdowns.
"It kills him not to be out there," Childress said. "If there is one thing he loves to do, it's get on this field and compete and play. He's a tough guy but you can't out-tough through this. He's just in stinking too much pain."
DE Jared Allen said coach Brad Childress did not have any special message for the team entering Sunday after a 30-17 loss at Arizona the previous week.
"(He just said) to get back to what we do," Allen said. "You're going to have slip-ups. There have only been two teams that have ended the (regular) season with a perfect record, so there's going to be slip-ups. We kind of got out of character last week, so coach's whole thing was just be ourselves."
QB Brett Favre when told he seems to be getting stronger with every game: "I don't know about that. I don't feel like I'm falling apart in December like most people seem to think. I feel fine. I don't feel much different than most guys in that locker room at this stage of the season."
RB Adrian Peterson when told that Favre said he seemed more focused on Sunday: "I was in tune to everything and that comes with preparation through the week and just feeling comfortable out there. The offensive line did a great job blocking up front and I was able to get a good rhythm and it flowed throughout the whole game." Peterson rushed for 97 yards on 26 carries and caught three passes for 40 yards, including one that went for 28 yards.
WR Bernard Berrian, who has been hampered by hamstring injuries for much of the season, tied for the team lead with four catches for 43 yards Sunday against Cincinnati.
LB Erin Henderson, whose older brother E.J. was lost for the season because of a broken leg, was active for Sunday's game and saw time on special teams. It was only the second game this season that Erin Henderson was active.
RG Anthony Herrera (concussion) returned after a two-game absence to play against the Bengals. Herrera was one of four Vikings' starting offensive linemen on the injury report last week, joining left tackle Bryant McKinnie (ankle), left guard Steve Hutchinson (shoulder) and right tackle Phil Loadholt (shoulder).
CB Karl Paymah missed Sunday's game because of a knee injury. His absence did not have an adverse impact on the defense because veteran corner Antoine Winfield returned after a six-game absence, but Paymah's greatest value is on special teams. It remains to be seen how much work he will be able to do this week in practice.
SS Tyrell Johnson missed Sunday's game because of a concussion and it's not certain whether he will be available this coming weekend at Carolina. Rookie Jamarca Sanford, a seventh-round pick, got the start in Johnson's place and played well.