Percy Harvin (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
WR Percy Harvin returned to practice Friday after being too ill on Thursday, but he said it was just a “stomachache” and is listed as probable for Sunday’s game. CB Chris Cook, however, is more uncertain, being listed as questionable. Plus, a look at Leslie Frazier’s attitude toward “must-win” games, the Vikings’ chances and more.
Vikings receiver Percy Harvin returned to practice on Friday after sitting out Thursday with what head coach Leslie Frazier thought might be a stomach virus.
“I thought he looked pretty good. He went through everything in practice, moved around pretty good and should be fine for Sunday,” Frazier said. “[He] didn’t miss any of the drills or anything that we were doing, so we were good.”
Harvin was listed as probable on the Vikings injury report.
In the locker room after practice, Harvin wasn’t in much of a mood to talk about how he was feeling, saying he was “great” and adding, “Man, it was a stomachache. I’m fine, fine, fine. Anything else?”
Thursday was the first time that Harvin missed a practice in 2011 after missing dozens last year because of a death in the family, an ankle injury and migraines that caused him to sit out games in Weeks 13 and 14. He has missed three games in his two-plus seasons with the Vikings – all because of migraines or migraine symptoms. This turned out to be different than a migraine, but Frazier said Harvin still wasn’t back to 100 percent Friday.
“I’m sure there are some residual effects, but he moved around good,” Frazier said. “I think he should be fine for Sunday.”
Cornerback Chris Cook continues to make his way back from a strained groin, practicing again on Friday on a limited basis and being listed as questionable on the injury report. Frazier said Cook had “no ill effects” and “should be ready to go.”
Getting the 6-foot-2 cornerback on the field against Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, who is 6-foot-5, should help the Vikings secondary.
“No question about it. When we looked at our division, that was one of the things that we looked at, trying to match up at times,” Frazier said. “Having two big corners with Cedric [Griffin] and Chris, we thought that would help us. This is one of those games where we want it to pay off.”
The only game last year that the Vikings had Cook, Griffin and Antoine Winfield together was Week 3 against the Detroit Lions, and Frazier said he was hoping the trio could repeat its 2010 performance against the Lions receivers.
Cook was the only Viking listed as questionable, and he and LB E.J. Henderson were the only players were limited in Friday’s practice.
Frazier said Henderson was a little sore on Friday but “should be fine for Sunday.” Henderson has been dealing with swelling in his knee since last Wednesday and had it drained last Thursday. “We didn't take him through as many things today, but he should be good for Sunday,” Frazier said.
Harvin, Henderson, CB Asher Allen (toe), DE Jared Allen (shoulder), WR Michael Jenkins (groin), CB Marcus Sherels (chest), and DT Kevin Williams (foot) were all listed as probable.
For the Lions, DT Nick Fairley and OT Jason Fox are out. WR Rashied Davis, LB DeAndre Levy, TE Brandon Pettigrew, and WR Maurice Stovall are all questionable. DE Cliff Avril, S Louis Delmas and WR Calvin Johnson are probable.
WORKING THROUGH 0-2
The Vikings are frustrated, but Frazier said they weren’t discouraged after losing double-digit halftime leads in their two losses.
“We all are, coaches and players, frustrated with the fact that we're 0-2, but not to the point where we're discouraged, not believing that we can't rebound from those first two losses,” Frazier said. “Having such a veteran group of guys, with good leadership on our team, helps us in that regard. I don't think anybody has pushed the panic button at this point. But there is a sense of urgency about getting it going and we'd like to get it going this weekend.”
The Vikings have fallen from 40/1 odds in the preseason to win the Super Bowl to now being 75/1, according to gambling web site Bodog.
DE Jared Allen was not fined for a hit on Bucs QB Josh Freeman, when he was ruled to have “lowered his shoulder” and drew a 15-yard penalty.
Frazier said it’s too early in the season to call Sunday’s game a “must-win” for the Vikings. “It's the third game of the season, it's an important game, NFC North rivalry, us playing in our division. That makes it a big game,” he said. “We want to get a win for a lot of reasons. We need to get a win. But must-win? That's not a term I would use at this point in the season.”
The Vikings will continue to monitor the snaps of Williams, who is returning from a two-game suspension. “The conditioning, you would think that would be a factor, considering all the time he missed, along with the injury being there in training camp,” Frazier said. “That's something we'll have to help him with, from a rep standpoint, and we'll monitor his reps. But, as far as moving around, [he's] pretty good. It's the conditioning that we'll have to be on the lookout for.”
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.