EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — After missing practice all week, Minnesota Vikings leading receiver Percy Harvin is doubtful heading into Sunday’s important NFC North game at Chicago.
Harvin, who leads Minnesota and is tied for eighth in the league with 62 catches, tested his sprained ankle before the team’s practice on Friday but wasn’t able to put any weight on the injured ankle. He was out with the team during the start of practice for stretching, with his ankle taped and still noticeably limping, before going back inside with trainers before team drills started.
“Percy gave it a try in pre-practice; really couldn’t put a lot of weight on that ankle at this point,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said.
Left guard Charlie Johnson (toe) returned to practice on a limited basis after missing two days and is listed as questionable for Sunday when Minnesota (6-4) plays the Bears (7-3). Starting defensive tackle Letroy Guion (foot) has been limited all week and is questionable. Cornerback Antoine Winfield was listed as limited in practice this week but is probable. Receiver Michael Jenkins (foot) returned to full-time practice on Friday and is probable.
Harvin has been out since Nov. 4 – including last week’s bye week – since spraining his ankle in three places in a loss at Seattle. Frazier said earlier this week that he would need to see Harvin return to practice for the receiver to be active in Sunday’s game because of the time he’s missed.
“I think after the time we’ve had off, it would be good for him to get some work,” Frazier said Wednesday. “It would be good for him physically just to have confidence. So, yes, I would like to see him get some work before our game on Sunday.”
Harvin, had expressed confidence Wednesday that he would test out the injured ankle in practice later that day but later missed that practice and didn’t participate in team drills the rest of the week. He spent the bye week in town rehabbing, saying he “ran through pretty much every machine I think we have in there.”
He has missed one game — a win against the Detroit Lions before the bye – during which the passing offense showed signs of pulling out of its slump. Quarterback Christian Ponder completed 24 of 32 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns, and rookie Jarius Wright took on some of Harvin’s role with three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Frazier said Wright would again be active for Sunday’s game regardless of Harvin’s status.
“He showed that he’s ready to get in some game action,” Frazier said. “So, we’re going to have him up for sure.”