The Vikings are taking the sign on the entrance to their practice facility too far. It reads: “The Minnesota Vikings ban all weapons in this building.”
Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin were missing at the start of practice on Friday, adding to a season of frustration and mounting injuries. Peterson hasn’t practiced since he suffered a high ankle sprain on Nov. 20 and has been ruled out.
“He has improved. The work he did today was far better than a week ago Friday when he worked out, so he’s able to do things straight-line pretty good,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. “The cutting is still a little bit of an issue, but he’s much further along than he was a week ago. Hopefully in these next few days being able to cut will be much less of a problem than it is today.”
Harvin was ill, but Frazier was told it wasn't migraines and speculated that it might be a virus. He expects Harvin to be available Sunday.
“I know they are evaluating Percy and determining what’s going on,” Frazier said. “But my first question, like your first question, was, ‘Is it a migraine?’ They told me, ‘We’re evaluating the situation and we’ll let you know when we get back in.’ Everything that’s been indicated to me is that he’s going to be fine and nothing like what we’ve experience in the past.”
Harvin put in a full day’s work on Thursday, but he wasn’t at the team’s Winter Park practice facility on Friday morning.
Harvin has been battling a rib injury since training camp, but he hasn’t missed any full games because of it and practiced on Wednesday and Thursday. Of course, he has struggled with migraine headaches that have caused him to miss games. He said this offseason that he believes a cure was found for them and he isn’t believed to have suffered any known migraines yet this year.
Eleven games into the season, if Harvin can’t play, the Vikings would have no wide receivers active that have more than 10 catches this season. Harvin is the leading receiver with 51 catches. Michael Jenkins, who had 38, was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday with a torn meniscus, and the rest of the Vikings’ top targets are either tight ends or running backs – Visanthe Shiancoe with 29, Kyle Rudolph with 17, and Adrian Peterson with 16.
Devin Aromashodu has nine catches for 213 yards, Greg Camarillo has four for 62 yards, and rookie Stephen Burton has spent most of his time on the practice squad this year. He played in one game, but doesn’t have a catch.
Asked about the possibility of heading into Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos without Harvin, Frazier didn't even want to think about it.
“Oh, man. Please, please, please, let’s not go down that line," Frazier said. "We need number 12 (Harvin) out there. We need him.”
With Peterson and CB Chris Cook (legal issues) out, the Vikings also had four players listed as questionable, including Harvin. Joining him were CB Asher Allen (shoulder), LB E.J. Henderson (shoulder), and Rudolph (quadriceps).
Frazier said Henderson has made progress and has a “very good chance” to play. Rudolph is also expected to play, but Allen’s chances might not be as good.
The Vikings may be getting one player back from injury. RG Anthony Herrera, who missed the last four games with a knee injury, is listed as probable and would start if he is healthy enough. Also listed as probable, meaning they are a “virtual certainty,” were LB Erin Henderson (hamstring), S Jamarca Sanford (shoulder) and TE Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring).
For the Broncos, LB Von Miller (thumb) and WR Eddie Royal (toe) are questionable. RB Willis McGahee (illness), S David Bruton (Achilles), TE Daniel Fells (hand) and T Ryan Clady (knee) 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.