Harvin's availability in question again

Percy Harvin (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)

Percy Harvin played through an ankle injury last Sunday and has missed all the practices so far this week with a migraine headache.

Wide receiver Percy Harvin's availability for last Sunday's game against Arizona was in doubt during the week because of a sprained left ankle.

Harvin not only ended up playing but set career highs with nine receptions for 126 yards in a 27-24 overtime victory over the Cardinals.

The Vikings can only hope Harvin bounces back as well from his latest bout with migraines this Sunday at Soldier Field. Harvin hasn't been at Winter Park the past two days because of the headaches, instead visiting with doctors and then staying home.

Harvin has dealt with migraines for much of his life, but after an extended issue with them in the preseason, doctors were hopeful they had solved a big part of the problem when they diagnosed him with sleep apnea.

Before Wednesday, Harvin hadn't missed a practice since Sept. 22 because of a migraine.

The Vikings can ill afford to lose their top receiver this season. Harvin has 40 receptions for 519 yards and three touchdowns. He is no stranger to missing practice time because of migraines so it would be premature to write him off, even though the Wednesday and Thursday sessions are important.

Harvin is coming off a rough week in which he not only dealt with the ankle but also got into a heated argument coach Brad Childress last Friday. Childress was upset because Harvin would not go get an MRI on his ankle. He finally relented on Saturday.

If Harvin can't go Sunday, the Vikings will have to hope that Sidney Rice is ready to return after missing the whole season because of a hip injury that required surgery in August.

Rice, who was the Vikings top receiver last season, has been practicing with the team but would need to be activated by Saturday in order to play Sunday.

BY THE NUMBERS: 143 — Rushing yards Adrian Peterson needs to reach 1,000 for the fourth consecutive season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The (fans) didn't know what they wanted to do, but at the end they really jumped on board. They were up and down like the ocean. But they hung in with us. I'll give them that. They were there at the end when we needed them." — Linebacker Chad Greenway, on how the crowd of 64,120 at Mall of America Field last Sunday went from very quiet to roaring as the Vikings stormed back from a 14-point deficit against Arizona with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. MORE PRESSURE

The Vikings entered last Sunday's game against Arizona ranked near the bottom of the NFL with only six sacks. That changed, however, as Minnesota got to quarterback Derek Anderson six times.

This included 2.5 sacks by Pro Bowl right end Jared Allen, who had only one coming into the game, and two sacks by Ray Edwards, who had only 1.5 sacks over the first seven games.

So what changed?

One thing defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier did was bring a few more blitzes and pressures than had been the case. The Vikings led the NFL last season with 48 sacks, so Minnesota didn't need to blitz that much. But clearly something had to be done this year.

The Vikings' base scheme is the Tampa-2, which is geared toward getting pressure from the front four, but Minnesota also sprinkles in various other elements to its defense, and sending a blitz now and then doesn't seem like a bad idea.

NOTES

  • CB Asher Allen (concussion) did not practice for the second day in a row on Thursday and it appears doubtful he will play Sunday. Allen likely would be replaced as the starting right corner by rookie Chris Cook.

  • S Jamarca Sanford did not practice Wednesday or Thursday after injuring his hamstring on Sunday against Arizona.

  • QB Brett Favre returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out for the third Wednesday in a row as he rested the stress fracture in his left ankle and fracture in his left heel. It's likely Favre will take Wednesdays off on a regular basis in order to give him three days of rest after games.

  • RT Phil Loadholt (knee) was limited on Wednesday and Thursday but likely will start on Sunday.

  • NT Pat Williams continues to battle an elbow issue that limited him in practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

  • DE Everson Griffen was listed with a shoulder injury but did not miss any of practice Wednesday or Thursday.

  • CB Lito Sheppard remains on the injury report because of a hand injury but did not miss any of practice Wednesday or Thursday.

  • CB Frank Walker remains on the injury report because of a hamstring injury but did not miss any of practice Wednesday or Thursday.

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