The same ankle injury that has forced Harvin to miss two games will claim another Sunday.
Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 in the Twin Cities reported Harvin's downgrade Saturday afternoon:
#Vikings have downgraded Percy Harvin to out.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 1, 2012
The decision likely wasn't a difficult one for the Vikings, who went through practice days without Harvin on both Thursday and Friday. Harvin was a limited participant Wednesday, but looked noticeably affected by the lingering ankle issue.
ESPN NFC North blogger Kevin Seifter reported Thursday that Harvin was struggling to move during the media portion of practice:
Percy Harvin could barely jog today and wasn't practicing during time open to media. Hard to see him playing vs. #Packers.
— Kevin Seifert (@espn_nfcnblog) November 29, 2012
The Vikings (6-5) have been without Harvin for the better part of a month.
He played briefly against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 4 before exiting and then missed games with both the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears. The Vikings even had a bye week in the mix. But the injury hasn't even progressed to a point where Harvin can participate fully in one practice.
Minnesota will now head into arguably the most important game of its season without the most talented player in its receiving package.
Despite missing the better part of three games, Harvin still leads the team in catches (61), receiving yards (677), 20-yard catches (eight), first-down receptions (36) and yards after the catch (531). Harvin's 677 yards accounts for 31.0 percent of Minnesota's total receiving yards this season.
The Vikings will also be without Harvin's ability on special teams. Harvin averaged almost 36 yards a return with a touchdown before the injury. Minnesota has received an average under 20.0 in the three games since.
Minnesota is 1-2 in games where Harvin has been limited or out this season.
At 6-5, the Vikings are still right in the NFC wild-card hunt. A loss Sunday to the Packers doesn't eliminate their chances by any means, but time is running out for the Vikings to make a run.
Not having Harvin because of a still-worrisome ankle injury compounds Minnesota's task in Week 13. At this point, Harvin's status for Week 14 should also remain up in the air.