Teammates were clearly shaken Thursday after wide receiver Percy Harvin collapsed while on the practice field and was taken to a local hospital in an ambulance.
Vikings coach Brad Childress said Harvin suffered a migraine headache before the official start of practice, jogged inside, was examined by a team doctor and returned to watch practice. He wasn't practicing when he collapsed.
"It's always tough. We don't want to see (anybody) go down," defensive end Ray Edwards said. "We all play this game because we love to play it. We take care of our families, take care of ourselves. So to see a guy go down, it's never a good thing. Just pray that the Lord is with him and gets back to us safely, and to his family most importantly."
Harvin collapsed on one field while about half the team was practicing on another field, so not everybody saw what happened and some of the players remained on the second field while an emergency medical technician and team doctors tended to Harvin, who was trembling, according to Childress.
"I think everybody just had questions – what's going on, is he alright, what happened? I think those were just general questions," said linebacker Ben Leber, who was on the other field. "It was pretty somber. Everybody knew that it was a serious situation. We tried to be as sympathetic as we could and pay our proper respects to the situation. Everybody just said prayers on their own and just talked quietly."
Players and coaches gathered on the second field while Harvin was being tended to in the ambulance and said a team prayer.
"We were pretty unsure of what's going on, because I was on the other field. We just had to wait to find out and make sure he was OK," tackle Bryant McKinnie said. "We've seen the ambulance come, so hopefully he's OK. He's in our prayers."
"You never want to see a guy suffer like that," tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. "So hopefully the doctors are on him, diagnose it, come up with something to treat it or whatever the problem is. I don't even know what the problem is, but hopefully we'll get that taken care of."
Harvin was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2009 after catching 60 passes for 790 yards and six touchdowns. He also earned a spot on the Pro Bowl team as a kick returner after averaging 27.5 yards on 42 returns.
"Although Percy has only been with us a couple years he's really ingrained himself in this football family. So it hurts when someone goes down, especially if it's a health thing," Leber said. "It's something he's been battling for a long time. Hopefully we can get something figured out and find the best solution for him."
The Vikings and Harvin having been looking for a solution to his migraine headaches since he joined the team. He has visited the Mayo Clinic and often receives suggestions from teammates and fans.
McKinnie said Harvin has tried "everything" to find a remedy.
Harvin suffered migraines a few times during his rookie season and missed the NFL rookie symposium and the team's minicamp last year because of them. He missed one regular-season game because of them and missed practice time before the NFC Championship Game, although he was able to play in that contest.
Although it's still not completely certain that migraines caused him to collapse, Thursday's episode in front of teammates may have driven home the seriousness of his health issues to teammates.
"I think by this happening it kind of lets the team know exactly how hard it is. Because a lot of times it doesn't take place in front of us. So now by people actually seeing it, they see it's really not a joke," McKinnie said.
"Some of us knew for real that he was really suffering from it. Maybe some other people in some of their minds they weren't sure, but I think they are awake now to see how serious it is."
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.
Teammates react to Harvin's collapse
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