Harvin, Winfield may miss Carolina game
AP Sports Writer
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Percy Harvin has played most of this season with a painful rib injury, so he doesn't see why that should change this week.
The Minnesota Vikings receiver was listed as questionable on Friday for the game against Carolina, but Harvin said he intends to play through the pain again.
"I'm not going to change the way I play...When I'm in there it's 100 miles an hour," Harvin said after practice.
Things don't appear to be as cut and dried with cornerback Antoine Winfield and running back Lorenzo Booker for Sunday. Both are listed as questionable as well. Winfield has a neck injury that has kept him out of the last three games while Booker is recovering from a concussion and has yet to pass the tests required to be cleared to play.
Right guard Anthony Herrera is out with a left knee injury.
Winfield tested his neck in contact drills on Thursday and practiced on a limited basis on Friday. Coach Leslie Frazier said his leader in the secondary has made some improvements, but they're still waiting to see how he feels Saturday before making a decision.
"He felt OK," Frazier said. "Not to the point where he said, 'Coach, I'm definitely ready to go.' We'll see how he does tomorrow."
The Vikings could sorely use Winfield to return against Cam Newton, Steve Smith and the Panthers. They will be missing cornerback Chris Cook, who was suspended earlier this week after being charged with felony domestic assault, and starter Cedric Griffin has struggled over the last few weeks.
The decision to play is solely on Winfield, who said Thursday that he is being cautious given the dangers surrounding a neck injury. The Vikings (1-6) have a bye the following week, though Frazier said that will not factor into the team's decision on who to play and who to sit.
"If they're able to play and they're not at risk injury-wise, unless our trainers tell me otherwise, we'll try to get our best players on the field," he said.
If Booker can't play, the Vikings will have a difficult decision to make at kick returner. Harvin is the team's first choice, but the Vikes could shy away from him to try to limit the hits on those tender ribs. Booker is the backup, but if he can't play that would likely leave the duties to punt returner Marcus Sherels or Stephen Burton, a rookie seventh-round draft pick who will be making his NFL debut Sunday.
With John Sullivan back at center this week after missing a game with a concussion, Joe Berger will move over to start at right guard in place of Herrera.
DE Jared Allen attended team meetings on Friday morning, but missed his second day of practice to be with his wife, who gave birth to the couple's first child on Thursday.
Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring), running back Adrian Peterson (ankle), linebacker E.J. Henderson (knee), nose tackle Remi Ayodele (ankle), defensive end Brian Robison (shoulder), safety Jamarca Sanford (concussion) and safety Husain Abdullah (concussion) are all listed as probable and expected to play.