Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin was using crutches the day after suffering what a badly sprained left ankle, sounding pessimistic about his ability to play this Sunday.
Coach Leslie Frazier said Monday the Vikings were "hoping to have him" against Detroit but that "it's too early to tell." Two hours later, Harvin entered the locker room and acknowledged he's a "long shot" to face the Lions, though he refused to rule out the possibility.
"I'm just going to go day by day. Like I said, I'm in a lot of pain. There's a lot of swelling right now," Harvin said. "My whole ankle, all the way around, is swollen. So we've got a lot of work to do."
Harvin has missed only three games in his four-year career, all due to migraine headaches. He's one of the toughest players in the league, pound for pound, but this might be too much for him to overcome.
Harvin already had a strained right hamstring, an injury that's been bugging him for the last three-plus weeks. He sat out briefly in Sunday's loss at Seattle because of it. Then when Harvin was brought down for a 3-yard loss on a run around the end later in the third quarter, he rolled the ankle. After writhing around on the ground for a bit and hobbling off, Harvin returned to the game once he felt a little better, but he was limping.
Then when he boarded the plane for the flight home, the pain worsened and he was no longer able to put pressure on his foot. By the morning, the swelling had increased. Tests revealed no broken bones and he doesn't have a high sprain, which takes longer to heal, but there's damage in three different spots around the joint.
"I'll be in treatment 24 hours and see if I can bounce back," Harvin said.
The Vikings have their bye week after hosting Detroit, which might make a decision to hold him out easy if he doesn't significantly improve in the next three or four days. That way, he could have two full weeks to recover but miss only one game. The Vikings have two matchups apiece against NFC North rivals Chicago and Green Bay, plus a visit to AFC-leading Houston on the final six weeks of the schedule.
"Does it make sense? To me, no. But if that's what has to happen, then that's what has to happen," Harvin said. "I'm shooting to try to play and get everything I can. If I can't, then I'll have to rest it. But I'm not ruling myself out."
Harvin said he wasn't sure if returning to the game against the Seahawks made the injury worse or not.
"But I'm here for this team. I was able to run or jog so I went back in," Harvin said.
Nose tackle Letroy Guion is the other player "most in jeopardy" of missing Sunday's game. Guion has a turf toe injury. Tight end John Carlson, however, is expected to return to practice this week after missing the last two games due to a concussion.
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