Percy Harvin (Rob Grabowski/US Presswire)
Vikings receiver Percy Harvin said he’s playing on Sunday, despite a questionable designation on the injury report. The status of Antoine Winfield, also listed as questionable, isn’t quite as certain.
Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin may be questionable on the injury report, but there is no question in his mind that he is playing Sunday at the Carolina Panthers.
“I’m playing,” said Harvin, who has been dealing with sore ribs since training camp.
Good thing he’s playing, too, given how short-handed the team is at receiver and kick returner. The team released former starting receiver Bernard Berrian on Tuesday, and running back Lorenzo Booker, who has been splitting kickoff returns with Harvin all season, has been held out of practices this week because of a concussion.
“It’s all good. I’m not going to change the way I play,” Harvin said. “The coaches don’t want me to change how I play. When I’m in there, it’s a hundred miles an hour. When I get banged up, I hate for that to happen, but I’m going to go (full) speed, regardless.”
Harvin compared his rib injury to a hamstring injury.
“I kind of feel it pulling, so it kind of makes me nervous at times,” he said. “Other than that, it’s just pain tolerance.”
Harvin has been wearing a protective jacket the last two weeks and will continue to do so. Last week, after taking a hit in the first half, he spent the second half watching the game on the sidelines.
“It’s pretty much every week. It’s just a matter of calming it down and getting as comfortable as I can to go into the game. It’s just a matter of pain tolerance,” he said.
Joining Harvin on the injury report as questionable were CB Antoine Winfield (neck) and Booker (concussion). Booker didn’t practice Thursday or Friday, and Winfield was limited Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Winfield said on Thursday after going through contact drills that his level of soreness on Friday would determine if he plays Sunday, but he wasn’t on the field as practice ended Friday and wasn’t available for comment in the locker room after practice.
“He wasn’t too bad today. Felt OK,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “Not to the point where he said, ‘Coach I’m definitely ready to go.’ So, we’ll see how he goes tomorrow.”
Anthony Herrera is out after a lateral collateral ligament injury to his left knee.
The Vikings had nine players listed as probable: RB Adrian Peterson (ankle), TE Visanthe Shiancoe (foot), DT Remi Ayodele (ankle), LB E.J. Henderson (knee), DE Brian Robison (shoulder), S Husain Abdullah (concussion), S Jamarca Sanford (concussion), C John Sullivan (concussion) and DE Jared Allen, who missed practice again Friday to see his new baby daughter, Brinley, who was born Thursday. Allen attended meetings in the morning and was “smiling from ear to ear,” according to Frazier.
BUILDING A RAPPORT
Harvin said it’s key for him and new starting QB Christian Ponder to be on the field together as much as possible.
“The more he can get looks at it, the more I can tell him what I’m seeing and maybe help out his throws,” Harvin said. “… Ultimately, it helps (us) get into rhythm for the rest of the season.”
Abdullah said the concussion he suffered during Sunday’s game wasn’t serious and didn’t affect him on the play when he came up to cover Donald Driver on a shorter route and left Greg Jennings wide open for a 79-yard touchdown.
Seventh-round draft pick Stephen Burton is expected to be active Sunday, according to Frazier. The Vikings promoted the wide receiver to the 53-man roster from the practice squad after they released Berrian.
The Vikings still have an open spot on their 53-man roster after suspending CB Chris Cook, but they don’t plan to fill that before Sunday.
The Panthers injury report looks like this: CB Jordan Pugh (head) is doubtful; CB Darius Butler (not injured) is questionable; LB Omar Gaither (knee) and QB Cam Newton (illness) are probable.
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.