Percy Harvin, the Vikings star receiver, sprained his left ankle in three places in last weekend’s matchup against the Seahawks. A MRI taken earlier this week revealed this, and he has yet to practice this week after spending most of the week on crutches.
He was spotted walking around without crutches on Thursday, but very gingerly. Even still, the Vikings have not ruled Harvin out for this Sunday’s game against the Lions.
Why in the world would the Vikings risk putting Harvin out on the field this Sunday and potentially lose him for the rest of the year?
Ankle injuries tend to linger, especially when they are not given an ample amount of time to heal. This is the perfect opportunity to rest Harvin’s ankle, with a bye week following this Sunday’s game. After the bye week, the Vikings will find themselves in the heat of a NFC North race as four of their remaining six games are against the Packers (2) and the Bears (2).
Harvin, a player that relies on speed and shiftiness, will need his ankle at full strength to be effective–and if the Vikings want to be competitive in the NFC North, they will need Harvin at full strength. However, it doesn’t seem that head coach Leslie Frazier feels the same way.
Joe Oberle of CBS Sports notes that Frazier has said “If he can go, we'd play him and rest him after the game.” He went on to note “so we'll see how he does [Friday] and make the determination and see if he is well enough to [play] without putting himself in harm's way."
This should be a no-brainer, Frazier. Do not play Harvin this week.
The Vikings are still in the playoff hunt, but how they perform after the bye week will ultimately determine whether they get into the tournament for the Lombardi trophy at season’s end.
The Vikings don’t want to downplay the importance of this weekend’s game. After all, it is a division opponent. However, if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive, they have to keep arguably the best offensive weapon in the game healthy by resting Harvin this weekend. They will be happy they did.