We're used to Brett Favre as a no-show at training camp. The living legend and future Hall of Famer doesn't do training camp anymore. But what's going on with the defending Offensive Rookie of the Year, receiver/kick returner Percy Harvin?
Is Favre's absence—or head coach Brad Childress' allowance of Favre's absence—causing the trickle-down attitude, "If he doesn't have to be at camp why should I have to be there?"
Harvin has been absent from camp for the past two weeks. In fact, he was only around Mankato State for one day before a death in his family sent him packing. But the standard allotment of grieving days came and went (however many days that is—every situation is slightly different), and Harvin is still AWOL.
Rumors of Harvin's infamous migraine headaches returned—and were confirmed. But with so much time having passed without Harvin returning to the team, it caused the Vikings to send him a "five-day letter," essentially warning Harvin to return to his place of employment, or else.
Now, word is that Harvin will rejoin the team as early as tonight. So I guess the letter worked. But I'm wondering how much the missed time will hurt his development?
One might argue that all the practice time he missed last season didn't do anything to hurt his career progress. But it's unnerving to see a player of Harvin's caliber continue to miss valuable practice time with his teammates. And more importantly, it's troubling to see him continue to suffer from a seemingly incurable illness that causes such an abnormal number of sick days.
Still, I'm left wondering if the double standard for the team's most popular player will eventually have a negative effect on the rest of the team—if it hasn't already.
The Vikings appear to have all the pieces in place for another Super Bowl run. If, in fact, all the pieces were actually in place.