If the Minnesota Vikings were hoping to have their electrifying playmaker in Percy Harvin back this week, they may want to rethink their strategy.
Heading into a Week 13 matchup with the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings will need every weapon, both offensive and defensive, available come game time. Unfortunately, they could still be without Harvin, who missed practice on Friday and is listed as doubtful.
Harvin has missed the Vikings’ last two games while battling a sprain ankle that he suffered against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 9. During that time, the Minnesota offense has struggled to replace his production in the receiving game. Veteran wide receivers Jerome Simpson and Michael Jenkins have been non-factors while suffering from two severe cases of butterfingers. Second-year tight end Kyle Rudolph has played well in Harvin’s absence, but is coming off of a Week 12 concussion.
Rookie Jarius Wright has subbed in commendably as the Vikings’ slot receiver, amassing 10 receptions, 114 yards and a touchdown in two games. Still, the lack of Harvin’s game-breaking speed and shiftiness has hindered Christian Ponder and the Minnesota passing attack.
Currently at 6-5, there’s still room for the Vikings to make a legitimate playoff push heading into the month of December. Every week, however, will be crucial to them staying in the hunt. A win against the Packers would move them into second place in the division and earn them a temporary wild card spot. That, however, won’t be easy without Harvin in the lineup.
The Vikings can earn themselves a spot in the postseason soirée without Harvin, but they’ll need the rest of their wide receiver corps to step up in a big way. If the past few weeks have been any indicator, the chances of that happening aren’t high.