Percy Harvin's Injury Means Vikings WRs Need to Step Up & More NFC North News

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 4: Percy Harvin #12 of the Minnesota Vikings is tended to on the field during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 4, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks 30-20. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Percy Harvin is on crutches.

The ESPN NFC North blog's Kevin Seifert says the team is open to the possibility that Harvin could play against the Lions, but that looks unlikely.

For an offense which has lacked any other playmakers in the passing game, this is a problem.

Christian Ponder and Jerome Simpson aren't only not on the same page, they aren't in the same section of the library. Kyle Rudolph has pulled an invisible man act and the rest of the receivers only occasionally show up.

It's not an easy position to be in, especially given the struggles of the quarterback and, on occasion, the offensive line.

The solution is twofold. First of all, it looks like Adrian Peterson will have to give just a little bit more. It's crazy to think that the season he is having is almost lost in the other issues of the offense and even crazier to think they might need more of him.

But they will, as he needs to be the backbone of the offense with Harvin gone. Sure, Peterson has been pretty much acting as if that's the case anyway, but without Harvin, that only is going to make his job harder since teams can now stack eight men in a box.

Peterson has already shown tremendous resiliency this season, and really, he's been seeing stacked fronts most of his career and overcome them successfully.

The second thing is that Jerome Simpson, Kyle Rudolph, Mike Jenkins, Devin Aromashodu, Stephen Burton and rookie Jarius Wright are going to have to find a way to start being effective. 

They no longer have the crutch of Harvin, a guy who can just will himself to first downs. They have to step up, start catching balls and find ways to get open.

They've been underperforming (or in Wright's case, inactive). That has to stop. 

It's time for someone else to step up.

On to the rest of the NFC North


Chicago Bears

On his show yesterday, Jay Cutler said he wants the offense to catch up to the level of play the defense is at, according to Michael Wright of

Sun-Times writer Rick Morrissey says that the Bears defense forcing a billion turnovers is really just another day at the office for them.

Today we find out if receiver Johnny Knox is going to be able to return to the active roster this season, but even if the answer is no, Brad Biggs of the Tribune says that isn't necessarily the end of his career as a Bear.


Detroit Lions

Detroit News writer John Niyo says that after a terrible start to the season, the Lions are right in the middle of the playoff picture.

No Jahvid Best, no problem! Joique Bell is more than filling in for Best according to's Justin Rogers.

Part of the recent success of the run game is the play of rookie Riley Reiff who lines up as an extra lineman or fullback on run downs, according to Carlos Monarrez and Dave Birkett of the Free Press.


Green Bay Packers

Clay Matthews could miss a few weeks while Bryan Bulaga's status is completely up in the air according to ESPN Wisconsin's Jason Wilde.

Bob McGinn rates the Packers' performance against the Arizona Cardinals at the Journal-Sentinel.

Nick Perry is looking for a second opinion on his knee injury according to the Press-Gazette's Weston Hodkiewicz.


Minnesota Vikings

As he does every week, Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN breaks down the tape from this week's game.

Chad Greenway says the sky isn't falling and the team isn't done, according to the Pioneer Press' Ben Goessling.

The Star-Tribune's Chip Scoggins says the Vikings need to roll the whole season with Christian Ponder in order to find out what they have in him.


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