Tuesday, May 5, 2015
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chris cook

Percy Harvin was recently at Winter Park for his exit physical and Leslie Frazier, as usual, calmly assessed the situation.

“It went well. He’s fine. He’s cleared,” Frazier said. “All the medical was good.”

This indicates that Harvin’s ankle sprain should be a non-issue moving forward, but the more pressing question surrounding Harvin is whether or not he’ll be playing as a member of the Minnesota Vikings or some other team in 2013.

Frazier said that his star receiver was in a “good frame of mind” during his time at winter park.  “We’ll see where it goes from there,” he added.

It was also recently reported that Harvin hit escalators in his contract that will nearly double his currently scheduled salary for 2013.  He is now scheduled to earn $2.9 million under his current deal, but there is no reason to expect him to step foot on a football field during the upcoming season unless he is under the terms and conditions of a brand new deal.

As far as Harvin goes, I will still direct you to this article that I penned quite some time ago.  Nothing has really changed since then, other than Harvin’s salary.

Harvin isn’t the only player that got a boost next year from unlocking incentives.  Chris Cook, Joe Webb, Everson Griffen, and Toby Gerhart are all members of the 2010 Draft class and each unlocked a salary increase that will bring them each to $650,000.  Cook also unlocked a $1 million roster bonus and will carry a cap hit of $2.305 in 2013.

Meanwhile, with Harvin getting healthy again, two of his teammates recently went under the knife.  Punter Chris Kluwe had his knee cleaned up because of some loose cartilage.  The Vikings signed punter T.J. Conley to a reserve/future contract, but it is unlikely that Kluwe’s surgery cuts into any of his offseason practice time.

Jared Allen also had surgery, the first of his football career, due to a torn labrum that he played with through the entire 2012 season.  Allen delayed the surgery so that he could participate in the Pro Bowl, but he is still expected to be ready to go by the time training camp rolls around.

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The Vikings made a flurry of moves on Saturday, the night before they face off against the Texans in Houston, and each one indicates a little a nugget of importance.

CB Chris Cook Activated:  If the Vikings are going to make the playoffs then they need all of the stars to align just right over the next two weeks.  One of those stars in already in place as Chris Cook has been removed from the Injured Reserve and activated.  Assuming he plays, at least on a part time basis, he will line up against monster receiver Andre Johnson.  Ever since Cook was injured, the Vikings have clearly struggled a lot more against top flight receivers, so his presence against the Texans could be a major boost.

DE George Johnson Activated From Practice Squad:  Johnson probably won’t be active on Sunday, but the move to add depth at the end position tells us that injured Brian Robison is highly unlikely to play.  Everson Griffen will start in Robison’s place.

G Mark Asper Waived:  Ever since signing offensive tackle Troy Kropog the Vikings have had more offensive linemen on the roster than they would normally carry.  Apparently the Vikings think Kropog offers them more than Asper, who never saw action this season, and so they opted to jettison Asper.  Asper, however, could be a very good candidate to return in the very near future.

TE Allen Reisner Waived:  Reisner comes and Reisner goes.  This has happened enough times that I wouldn’t read anything into it other than he is clearly less valued than rookie Rhett Ellison.

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A quick look at the biggest injury-related news concerning this Vikings roster at the moment:

PERCY HARVIN:  The Vikings dynamic playmaker only played in nine games before suffering an ankle injury that sidelined him for the remainder of 2012, as they officially placed him on injured reserve on December 5th.  On Sunday Harvin tweeted that he would be having “minor surgery” and it was initially assumed he was talking about his ankle.  Instead, however, Leslie Frazier indicated that Harvin instead had to undergo emergency appendectomy surgery.

When it comes to Percy Harvin, things are never crystal clear, but it does appear that he has no intentions of playing next season without getting a new contract.  His ankle injury (not the appendectomy) only muddies those waters and the Vikings could be in for an ugly fight and some think we may have seen Harvin play his last game as a Viking.

CHRIS COOK:  When Chris Cook suffered a broken arm on October 25th the Vikings had let only two receivers top 100 yards in eight games.  Those two receivers, Donnie Avery and Andre Roberts, were not Cook’s assignment for the day.  They have had much more trouble since then, giving up a pair of monstrous games to Calvin Johnson (207 yards) and Brandon Marshall (160 yards).

Cook is eligible to return next week, just in time to finish the season against Andre Johnson and Greg Jennings, but there is no guarantee that he will.  Leslie Frazier said that the team will be monitoring Cook’s conditioning and make a decision later on in the week.

BRIAN ROBISON:  On Sunday, defensive end Brian Robison made an immediate impact by sacking Sam Bradford early on.  Then, he had to leave the game with a shoulder injury.  Robison is expected to have an MRI done and Frazier said he will probably be day-to-day this week.

Luckily for the Vikings, they have impressive depth at Robison’s position, and Everson Griffen was a more than sufficient replacement on Sunday.

OTHERS:  Count Adrian Peterson and Marcus Sherels among the Vikings that came out of Sunday’s game with some dings and bruises.  Still, nobody other than Cook and Robison are considered to be very questionable for this week’s trip to Houston.

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A day after receiving news that Percy Harvin would not be suiting up for the Vikings again in 2012, the team got back a familiar face during Thursday’s practice.

Over a month ago, cornerback Chris Cook’s best season to date was interrupted by a broken arm.  The Vikings placed him on injured reserve (with a designation to return) and the top receivers of their opponents have torn up this Vikings defense ever since.

Cook returned to practice on Thursday, the first day that he was eligible to do so, and all indications are that he will be ready to go for the week 16 matchup against Houston.

Of course, the Vikings have to knock of the Bears and the Rams between now and then for his return to have any real significant meaning.

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When the Vikings got walloped by the Chicago Bears on Sunday, I found myself really missing two players:  Percy Harvin and Chris Cook.

Harvin has been the difference maker in a number of games for the Vikings this season and was in the MVP discussion prior to the ankle injury that knocked him out three weeks ago.  The sure-handed juggernaut was greatly missed in a game that featured far too many drops and not enough explosions from the Vikings receivers.

Harvin’s direct replacement, Jarius Wright, had a decent day while hauling in a team high seven passes for 49 yards.  However, the nice birthday performance for the rookie was overshadowed by an inexcusable drop in the back of the end zone.

In week four Calvin Johnson was held to five catches and 54 yards, thanks in large part to efforts of Chris Cook.  The following week Kenny Britt had two catches for 23 yards.  No Washington receiver topped 50 yards in the next game.  Larry Fitzgerald was then held to 29 yards.  Vincent Jackson had only two catches for 40 yards on Thursday Night Football.

Cook got hurt in that game.  Since then the Vikings have faced Sidney Rice, Calvin Johnson, and Brandon Marshall.  They have combined for 28 receptions, 353 yards, and two touchdowns.

The Vikings secondary wasn’t perfect when Cook was on the field, and it isn’t absolutely disastrous without him, but it is tough to argue that they are a better unit with Cook on the field willing and able to go toe-to-toe with the NFL’s best receivers.

The injuries to Cook and Harvin have exposed what we all know the Minnesota Vikings are: A young team with consistency and depth issues that will take some time to correct.

Until then, the phrase “Next Man Up!” is a scary one for Vikings fans.

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