|English: Percy Harvin, while a member of the Minnesota Vikings, at the Vikings' 2009 Training Camp, Mankato, Minnesota, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The fourth year pro suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain November 4th against the Seattle Seahawks. A Grade 3 sprain means a full ligament tear. Coach Leslie Frazier had suggested Harvin would be ready for practice for weeks, so the news of placing him on the season ending injured reserve came as a shock. Sports writers have been busy speculating why an ankle sprain would sideline one of the NFL's toughest guys, when the normal timeline for an ankle sprain recovery is six weeks, leaving two weeks left in the season.
The simplest answer to this question is that Harvin's ankle didn't heal as quickly as expected and he may need surgery to repair the damage from the ligament tear. Frazier said the decision to place him on the injured reserve was based purely on Harvin's slow healing ankle. He has declined to be more specific about the injury.
"For him as well as our team, this is the best thing to do as opposed to continuing to try to make something happen that's not going to happen. He's such a valuable commodity. You don't want to do anything that's going to create some long-term ill effects," Frazier told reporters last Thursday.
Harvin has been unavailable to reporters, but he issued a statement distributed by the Vikings, saying, "It certainly is disappointing that I was not able to finish out this season with my teammates. As a competitor I definitely wanted to get back out on the field, but my injury has just not allowed me to progress to the point where I can help our team. I appreciate the efforts of our medical staff and the support of our fans in helping me through this process and look forward to coming back stronger and better than ever."
Frazier denies that Harvin may need surgery, saying, "At least we're hoping that... Got my fingers crossed that won't be the case." Frazier says Harvin never had any setbacks, but made incremental progress. He tried to practice on November 28th, but was favoring his right foot and having difficulties trying to change direction. The injured reserve became a possibility in the last few days and Harvin didn't fight the decision.
"You understand the situation and understand where he is. We've got other guys that are going to step up and hopefully make some plays for us in this ballgame," said Frazier. "He understood. He was frustrated, like everybody. He wants to be out there on the field. He's a great competitor, as we all know. Just unfortunate he wasn't making the progress that was necessary for him to get back out there."
Harvin was having a stellar season, having the second most yards after catch by a wide receiver this season, with 528 yards, to Wes Welker's 530. His average of 8.5 yards after catch on his 62 receptions is the NFL's best. Pro Football Focus also credited him with causing 22 missed tackles by opponents this season, among the league's best.
"It's obviously unfortunate for Percy and for our team. He was having an unbelievable year when he was healthy, and we'd love to have him throughout the season, just with the things he can do and his abilities," said linebacker Chad Greenway.
In the meantime, rookie Jarius Wright will take Harvin's place as the slot receiver, meaning more playing time. "It was kind of heartbreaking. I just wanted to get Percy back and see how we'd be on the field at the same time. I know a lot of fans wanted a chance to see that also," Wright said.
But moving forward is the key and hoping Harvin will return as strong and better as he promised. "We know we have to move forward. We still have something that we're trying to accomplish this year. So just wish him the best, and hopefully he comes back healthy next year," said running back Adrian Peterson.
If you participate in football and have a foot problem, call our Newington, Kensington, or Middletown office to make an appointment.
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Medicine Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Newington
Visit our website, like our page on Facebook, and follow our tweets on Twitter.