EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The bye-week break helped Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin’s recovery from a badly sprained ankle, but the team’s leading receiver is still not able to return to practice.
Harvin, who is tied for eighth in the league with 62 catches, suffered a sprain in three places in his left ankle in the Week 9 game against the Seattle Seahawks. He missed the next game and was given more time to treat the ankle, staying in town for rehab during Minnesota’s bye in Week 11 when players were given the week off.
But as the team returned to practice Monday, Harvin wasn’t ready to rejoin the team and coach Leslie Frazier wasn’t sure of his status the rest of this week.
“We’ll see where he is on Wednesday and hopefully we’ll be able to see him do a little bit,” Frazier said.
Receiver Michael Jenkins, who is fourth on the team with 28 catches, also missed practice Monday with a foot injury. Frazier said Jenkins will be re-evaluated on Wednesday to see if he can return to practice. Defensive tackle Letroy Guion (turf toe) practiced Monday.
Harvin was seen walking through the locker room without much of a limp. Frazier said most of the swelling in the ankle has subsided, but the ankle is still tender for Harvin.
“Some progress and hopefully we’ll be able to see enough to where he can do something on Wednesday,” Frazier said. “We hope.”
Frazier was confident last week that Harvin would be able to return when the Vikings (6-4) play at the Chicago Bears next week in an important NFC North game. Frazier said Harvin didn’t suffer any sort of setback during the week, but hasn’t made enough progress on the ankle.
Without Harvin, Minnesota’s offense fared well before the bye, with quarterback Christian Ponder going 24-of-32 passing for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Ponder completed passes to 10 different receivers — including himself — but hopes to have the top playmaker in the passing offense back for the Chicago game.
Rookie Jarius Wright saw his first regular-season action and had three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.
“We really want Percy back and hopefully he will be back,” Ponder said. “Obviously we know he’s a big part of this offense. But I think it gives confidence to everyone else that we can do some things without him and we can spread the ball around a little bit.
Jenkins complained of the foot issue after going home this week. Frazier wasn’t sure when the injury occurred but said it likely stemmed from the Detroit Lions game before the bye.
“When he went home, his foot was bothering him,” Frazier said. “We did an MRI today and found out there was nothing structurally wrong. But it’s pretty sore and tender. So we gave him this morning off and we’ll see how he feels on Wednesday.”