EDEN PRAIRIE — The Minnesota Vikings placed ailing wide receiver Percy Harvin on injured reserve Wednesday, abruptly ending a season that began so well for one of the NFL’s most versatile players.
Coach Leslie Frazier answered questions about Harvin’s status cryptically and vaguely at his regular news conference, when he ruled Harvin out of practice again because of the severely sprained ankle that has kept him out of the last three games. Then about six hours later, the Vikings announced the move that declared their top pass-catcher done for the year.
During an outstanding first half that put him in the conversation for the league’s Most Valuable Player award, Harvin’s season sure deteriorated quickly. He was hurt one month ago. Now this.
“We’ll see what happens,” quarterback Christian Ponder said before the news came out. “I don’t know what or when he’ll be back. We’re just focused on who’s going to be out there, who’s going to be practicing today.”
Even bad sprains don’t normally take more than four to six weeks to fully heal, so it’s possible the injury is worse than originally revealed, perhaps requiring surgery. Neither team officials nor players were available for comment on the decision.
Harvin wasn’t on the indoor field at Winter Park as the Vikings went through drills in preparation for another critical NFC North game, this one at home against division co-leader Chicago. He wasn’t in the locker room when it was open to reporters, either.
Harvin was injured Nov. 4 at Seattle, leaving briefly in the third quarter of that game but returning with an obvious limp. He has missed three games since and only taken part in practice once since the injury, a week ago as a limited participant.