Published November 20, 2014
Harvin was on the practice field Friday morning wearing a T-shirt, shorts and tennis shoes, drinking Gatorade while smiling and chatting with coaches. He exchanged handshakes and hugs with a few teammates — waving at Pat Williams after the defensive tackle yelled "Hey, Perce, what's up?" — before walking inside the team's practice facility.
Harvin was taken away from Winter Park by ambulance Thursday after getting sick and collapsing on the field, a sobering scene that prompted the Vikings to end practice early.
Harvin has missed all but a handful of practices since training camp began three weeks ago, plagued again by the unpredictable, debilitating migraine episodes that can leave him unable to function, let alone put on a helmet and pads and run around the field.
But Harvin was, by all accounts, doing fine one day later.
"He probably could've come over here and done some things today, except for the fact that they've got a couple tests that they want to finish with," coach Brad Childress said. "I don't know that we're going to solve that riddle immediately, and I don't know that there's any quick fixes. I think it's just going to be a work in progress, and even though you'd like to stick it in a box and have it be fixed this way. History has told migraines aren't that way."
Harvin will not travel with the team to San Francisco for Sunday's exhibition game against the 49ers. With the regular season opener in New Orleans less than three weeks away, his availability — let alone ability to contribute at an elite level — is in question.
Childress downplayed the concern.
"He had a few last year that he dealt with and we dealt with, and if it was his first choice he'd here for all the prep for every week," Childress said. "But the fact is he has played well in games that he's had a migraine the week of the game, and it just matters whether it's a short one, a hard one, a two-day one and then what he was able to get out of the game plan."
Wide receiver Sidney Rice, who hasn't practiced yet himself because of a lingering hip injury, is also in that uncertain category. Rice said Friday he's having "a little bit of pain" and acknowledged his readiness "is still up in the air" for the big Saints game on Sept. 9.
"I'm pushing, working hard every day," Rice said, adding: "As long as my conditioning is good and feel comfortable, I'm sure I'll be fine."
With depth an obvious concern at wide receiver, the Vikings worked out two notable veteran free agents in the morning: Brandon Jones and Javon Walker. Jones was let go this week by San Francisco, and Walker was cut in March by Oakland. Childress had yet to meet with them when he address the media and said neither player had been signed.
"We'll just see how it goes going forward," Childress said. "We are checking the other able-bodied guys out there that we feel like are a fit for us here. You have to be ready for a Plan B, usually."