If it wasn’t for Percy Harvin, the Minnesota Vikings probably wouldn’t be 5-4 right now. So the fact that they might be without their electrifying wide receiver on Sunday could be a death sentence for a passing attack that is already facing a shortage on weapons.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Harvin is “extremely doubtful” to suit up against the Detroit Lions on Sunday after suffering a sprained ankle last weekend against the Seattle Seahawks. Although he avoided the high-ankle sprain, the damage is clearly severe enough that the Vikings could be without their only productive receiving threat.
If the Vikings are without Harvin on Sunday, the passing attack will be forced to find a different source of production. That’ll be easier said than done, though.
So far this season, Harvin has compiled 677 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 62 catches. No other receiver has broken the 300-yard or 30-catch marks. If there’s any hope of replacing his presence in the passing game, the Vikings need to see improved play from tight end Kyle Rudolph and wide receiver Jerome Simpson, both of whom have been invisible over the past few weeks.
When the Vikings and Lions met earlier this season, the Minnesota offense was a non-factor. The Vikings failed to score a single offensive touchdown, amassing a measly 111 yards through the air. Their only touchdowns came from a Marcus Sherels 77-yard punt return and a 105-yard kick return courtesy of – you guessed it – Harvin. Without their offensive sparkplug available to light a fire under the passing game, it could be a long day for Christian Ponder and Co.
It’s unclear as to how long Harvin will be out while nursing this ankle injury. Minnesota is coming up on a bye in Week 11, which bodes well for his rehabilitation. If it’s more than a week or two after that, though, the Vikings might soon watch what slim playoff hopes they have vanish.