Thursday, July 2, 2015

percy harvin

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I can’t wait to hear the post-game explanations from the Vikings coaching staff as to why it has taken so long to get Jarius Wright activated.  Is it a bad thing to have two Percy Harvins?

The Vikings special teams and defense did a nice job holding off the high octane offense of the Lions, and when the Vikings got the ball it was Jarius Wright making a name for himself right from the get-go.

A 54 yard bomb to Wright set the Vikings up and it was he that ended up getting the touchdown catch.

On the next drive, it didn’t take long for Chad Greenway to nab an interception on nice coverage on a pass intended for tight end Brandon Pettigew.  The Vikings offense struggled on the next drive, but was able to set up a Blair Walsh field goal.

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who many wanted the Vikings to draft instead of Ponder two years ago, has been giving the Vikings offensive line fits.

In the first quarter, the Vikings scored on two of their three possessions while the defense has yet to allow the Lions into their half of the field.  With a  10-0 lead, however, the Lions are at mid-field looking to get those chains moving.

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Here are your inactives for today’s game in the Dome:

Vikings:  QB Bethel-Thompson, WR Harvin, CB Burton, LB Mitchell, OL Asper, TE Reisner, and DT Guion.

Lions:  S Delmas, S Spievey, T Fox, T Hilliard, WR Robiskie, DT Williams, and QB Moore

While the Vikings will be without the multi-talented Percy Harvin, the Lions have plenty of health issues of their own, especially on defense.

Yesterday, mainly out of boredom, I solicited questions from the readers and promised to answer as many as possible.  So, for whatever the answers might be worth, here we go:

Who’s the MVP of the season so far?

Adam Says:  Starting me off with an easy one, sweet!  Percy Harvin has been incredible this season.  62 catches for 677 yards three touchdowns.  22 rushing attempts for 96 yards and a touchdown.  Averaging 35.9 yards on 16 kick returns and a touchdown.  The guy has been elite in every sense of the word.  Watching guys like Larry Fitzgerald struggle with poor quarterback play, it makes Harvin’s production even more impressive considering the current state of the offense.

Percy Harvin did not practice Friday and will likely miss this weekend’s home game against the Detroit Lions. Harvin, who sprained his ankle last weekend against the Seattle Seahawks, has been an integral part of the Vikings offense and it remains to be seen how the Vikings will fare without him.

In an effort to minimize the effect Harvin’s absence will have, the Vikings have activated rookie wide receiver Jarius Wright. Wright, taken in the fourth round of last year’s draft, has yet to see the field during the regular season. The dynamic receiver from Arkansas is deemed to have a skill set similar to Harvin but it is unlikely he will come close to filling his role this Sunday.

Adrian Peterson Returns To Practice

After missing Thursday’s practice with a stomach virus, Adrian Peterson returned to practice Friday and is expected to play Sunday. Peterson will likely be relied on heavily as the Vikings means of offensive production.

Last week, the Vikings mysteriously abandoned running the ball in the second half of the game against the Seahawks while Peterson was averaging an astonishing 10+ yards per carry.

Peterson will have his hands full this weekend against a Detroit Lions front that has been playing better than since they last met in Week 4 at Ford Field where the Vikings managed to escape with a 20-13 victory. In that game, Peterson just barely broke the century mark with 102 yards on the ground.

Interesting note:

Other Vikings Injuries

Letroy Guion returned to practice Friday (turf toe) but is doubtful against the Lions. Fred Evans will start in his absence.

Mistral Raymond is likely to be active this weekend but it is unknown what his contribution will be.

Vikings tight end John Carlson is expected to start Sunday after missing a couple games with a concussion.

Vikings Probable: “FB Jerome Felton (shoulder), LT Matt Kalil (knee), CB Antoine Winfield (knee), TE John Carlson (concussion), P Chris Kluwe (knee), RB Adrian Peterson (ankle/illness), S Mistral Raymond (ankle), S Jamarca Sanford (knee) and WR Jerome Simpson (calf).”

 

Percy Harvin has been spotted on crutches this week, following an ugly hit to his ankle last week, but limped slowly through the locker room on Thursday without support.  Leslie Frazier says Harvin will play on Sunday if he can, but all signs point towards it being too big of a risk at this point in the season.

The only playmaker to account for more yards in this offense than Harvin is Adrian Peterson, and it has recently been argued that Harvin should be a candidate for the NFL’s MVP award.

If Harvin doesn’t play then the Vikings have to find a way to make up the 75 receiving yards, 10 rushing yards, and 64 return yards he has been gaining on average per game.  That is not an easy task and a number of players will have to step up and fill his shoes if the Vikings are going to avoid further regression this Sunday afternoon.

Jarius Wright, WR

Wright has proven to be a bit of a mystery this season as he has been on the 53 man roster all year but has yet to be active on game day, after the Vikings selected him in the fourth round of April’s Draft.  There have been a number of theories about why Wright has yet to be on the field, one of which is that he is simply regarded as a Harvin clone in the case of an injury.  Wright is a similar player, albeit not likely to be as dominant, as Harvin is and it is logical to expect that he will not only be active in Harvin’s absence, but that we will actually see him get some action.

Toby Gerhart, RB

I already find it ridiculous how little the Vikings are using Gerhart, even when Harvin was healthy, and I would hope that he will be called on to pick it up this week.

Gerhart had a rough outing in week three, but has otherwise been his normal self.  Strangely, however, his role seems to be gradually disappearing.  In the last four games he has only carried the ball four times, while Harvin has carried it nine times over the same period.

It only seems logical that Gerhart will get some of the carries that would normally go Harvin’s way, and he should arguably get even more than that if the Vikings truly want to embrace their offensive strengths and run the ball with more frequency.

Marcus Sherels, CB

It seems likely that, even if Harvin is active, Marcus Sherels will be the Vikings primary kick returner against the Lions.  The Lions got torched by both Harvin and Sherels in the return game earlier this year, but Leslie Frazier seems to think the Lions won’t be so easily fooled on special teams this time around.

Sherels has only returned two kicks this year, averaging 23.5 yards, and doesn’t seem to have the same explosiveness as Harvin does.  Still, he will need to be ready to take advantage if the Lions decide to revert to early-season form and provide a big chance for a game-changing return at the Metrodome.

Adam Warwas, Hack Blogger

Somebody has to blow up at the coaching staff, like Harvin did last week, if Bill Musgrave calls three horrible red zone plays in a row that are short of the goalline and result in a field goal.

I nominate me.

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