Vikings’ offensive stars healing nicely

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Set to face the Washington Redskins’ 26th-ranked defense, the Minnesota Vikings appear as if they will have several of their top offensive playmakers ready for Sunday’s road game after Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Jerome Simpson were limited in practice this week.

Peterson (ankle) and Harvin (hamstring) were full participants in Friday’s practice and are listed as probable on the team’s injury report. Simpson, still dealing with a back problem that causes leg weakness, was limited on Friday and is listed as questionable.

Coach Leslie Frazier said he expects Peterson, the team’s leading rusher, and Harvin, the leading receiver, to be ready for Sunday’s game at Washington. Frazier said Simpson is improving after waking up with weakness and numbness in his leg Sunday.

“He’s better; not quite there, but he’s better,” Frazier said. “It’s just maybe a little bit more we need to see come, and that may come over the night. From what the doctors have told me, it’s just going to continuously get better. So, we’ll see.”

Frazier said Simpson’s availability will be determined this weekend. Simpson, who served a three-game suspension at the start of the season, has played in only two games and was limited in last week’s 30-7 win against the Tennessee Titans. He had four catches for 50 yards in his first game against Detroit.

Simpson missed Wednesday’s practice while treating a back problem, and was limited Thursday and Friday. Frazier said the injury is “something related to his back that affects the lower leg” and cause him not to be able to push off as effectively in one direction. But Frazier also wasn’t ruling out the possibility of having Simpson active and using him as almost a decoy with his deep speed.

“Potentially, we’ll see,” Frazier said. “But we don’t want to do anything where he could be in harm’s way. So, we’ll be smart. We’ll see how he does tomorrow as well. But he’s making good enough progress, so we’re encouraged by that.”

Peterson twisted his left ankle in Sunday’s game but played through the pain. He didn’t practice Wednesday and was limited Thursday. But Peterson said Thursday he expects to play and that he doesn’t think he’ll be hindered at all.

Harvin was a surprise when he showed up on the injury report as a limited participant Thursday, and Frazier said the team backed off his reps to allow a hamstring injury to heal, but he was feeling better Friday.

“Yeah, he did much better today,” Frazier said. “We limited him some because we want to make sure he’s ready for the game, but he should be fine.”

Quarterback Christian Ponder (knee), cornerback Antoine Winfield (knee), guard Charlie Johnson (low back) and safety Andrew Sendejo (ankle) were all listed as probable for Sunday. All were listed as full participants in Friday’s practice except Winfield, who was limited.

Linebacker Marvin Mitchell is listed as doubtful with a lingering calf injury. He missed Friday’s practice.

Raymond getting closer: Safety Mistral Raymond, sidelined the past two weeks after injuring his ankle in the first quarter of Week 3, was running and working out on the side during Friday’s practice for the first time since he was hurt. Raymond was expected to miss between three to five weeks.

“He’s getting closer,” Frazier said. “This was his first day having a chance to do some running, so that was encouraging. He’s still a few weeks away, but at least we’ve got a start now. He’s begun to run, so that’s a good sign.”

Raymond has been replaced in the starting lineup by Jamarca Sanford, who has 12 tackles in the past three games with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Frazier has said Raymond will regain his starting spot when healthy.

RGIII questionable for Redskins: Washington starting quarterback Robert Griffin III was listed as questionable on the team’s injury report Friday with a concussion he sustained in last week’s game. The rookie was a limited participant in practice all week. Griffin and coach Mike Shanahan have both said he’s expected to play.

The Redskins listed starting safety Brandon Meriweather (knee) and backup defensive end Doug Worthington (calf) as out for Sunday.

Receiver Pierre Garcon (foot) and cornerback Cedric Griffin (hamstring) are questionable. Griffin, the former Viking, has missed the past two games. Defensive tackle Barry Cofield (shoulder), cornerback DeAngelo Hall (knee) and running back Evan Royster (knee) are probable.

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