Percy Harvin continues to stay away from the Minnesota Vikings’ voluntary organized team activities after rehabilitating his surgically repaired shoulder during the first week of OTAs, making an appearance at the start of last week’s sessions and then not participating later in the week.
Harvin, who had shoulder surgery on April 24, tweeted last week, “There’s no such thing as minor surgery trust me.... From prac tues hope I didn’t over due it.”
Four minutes later, he seemed to back off with another tweet: “No worries I’m good just steady grind.”
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said the shoulder isn’t the reason Harvin hasn’t participated in the last three voluntary practices.
“His shoulder, from everything I know from our trainer, Eric Sugarman, his shoulder is doing well. He’s still on course to be back when we get back to mandatory minicamp and participate. That’s what we’re hoping,” Frazier said.
“Expect full participation next week. … It’s purely a voluntary situation.”
Frazier is expecting other injured players to be ready for the mandatory minicamp next week – a three-day session from Tuesday to Thursday that is the last organized week of practices before the Vikings begin training camp practices on July 27 at Minnesota State University in Mankato.
The Vikings’ rotation of offseason injury continues to dictate which players are participating in the voluntary OTAs and which ones aren’t able to perform.
Middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who is expected to assume a starting role after the Vikings elected not to re-sign free agent E.J. Henderson, has been sitting out practice since straining his groin while breaking up a pass last Wednesday.
“A little bit more precaution and he tweaked his groin in practice the other day, so we wanted to try to make it so we have him for the mandatory minicamp so we held him out of these final OTAs hoping that we’ll have him next week,” Frazier said.
The Vikings were also without the services of linebacker Solomon Elimimian, the hard-hitting former CFL linebacker who, like Brinkley, attended practice but wasn’t able to participate. Elimimian has a hamstring injury but is also expected back in action at next week’s minicamp.
Linebacker Chad Greenway continues to attend to a family matter that has caused him to miss most of the OTAs sessions. He is the only player that is questionable for minicamp next week, according to Frazier, but his absence would be excused.
“Talked with him just a few days ago and … I don’t know if we’ll have him back for mandatory minicamp. His family situation is something he’s dealing with. We may or may not have him back for that. It’s understandable with what he’s experiencing,” Frazier said.
Veterans Antoine Winfield and Jared Allen also elected not to attend OTAs this week, Adrian Peterson continues to rehab his surgically repaired left knee (presumably in Houston this week), and receiver Kerry Taylor also sat out some of the full-team work with a hand injury.
While some Vikings were added to the injury list from last week’s session that was open to the media, fourth-round draft choice Greg Childs was back in action after suffering a calf injury in rookie minicamp in May.
Childs said he did a little bit in last week’s practices, but he has been attending practices and meetings the last two weeks to continue to progress with the playbook.
“We have multiple meetings a day. We got our playbook. You gotta go home and study,” he said. “So it’s really about getting your books so you can learn. Also when you’re not taking the reps, be sitting there right beside the coach and learning the play as they’re doing it.”
“Nobody likes to be on the sideline. Maybe two weeks ago I wanted to go straight out there, you know, but there wasn’t time for me to get out there and start running around yet. So I had to wait.
Childs said he will also participate in minicamp.
Safety Harrison Smith started working with the first-team defense, initially alongside Mistral Raymond and later with Jamarca Sanford as the other safety. Frazier said they are starting to see how some of their younger players perform with the starters.
“It made me feel pretty good. I saw a play today where he really got angry. He got kind of fired up. You kind of need that out of your defensive backs. You need them to have a little something about them and it was good to see.”
Rookie kicker Blair Walsh was 4-for-6 in a string of field goals during special teams work, missing one wide left and one wide right. But he nailed one at the end of practice from 40 yards following an offensive series.
“We do want to put him in situations during practices and not surprise him during games,” Frazier said.
“Just putting him in situations where he has to perform and hopefully get him through some of the anxiety of being a rookie kicker.”
The Vikings will hold their annual Vikings Children’s Fund charity golf tournament tomorrow at Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove.
The Vikings will finish off their organized team activities this week with practices on Wednesday (before the golf tournament) and Thursday before ending the spring sessions with the fully padded minicamp next week.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.