After missing the first game of his NFL career a couple of weeks ago against Cincinnati at home, Vikings rookie WR Percy Harvin returned to the lineup last week at Carolina.
Harvin’s production wasn’t on par with what we’ve been accustomed to this season, though, something that was likely a product of missing the previous game as well as limited practice time leading up to the Panthers game. He had 1 reception for 10 yards and 2 kickoff returns for 31 yards and generally looked off-rhythm and hesitant.
But this week during practice Harvin looked anything but off-rhythm and hesitant. He participated fully all week and looked full speed.
I was on the sideline watching practice on Friday and one particular play that Harvin made stands out to me and is in fact the reason I’m writing this post. On the play, Favre took a 5-step drop in the pocket and was looking to the right. He had Sidney Rice streaking down the right sideline in single coverage and it looked as if Favre had his sights set on lofting a deep pass to his lanky 6-4 receiver.
Favre rifled a laser to the right and I immediately thought this pass was going to be well short and Rice was going to have to come back for it. But that’s when Harvin came dashing across the middle of the field and fully extended his body to make the catch and turn upfield to finish the play by sprinting to the endzone.
I know the play happened in practice against the scout team – where there is no contact – but it was the type of play Harvin makes during games and it was great to see, especially after watching the offense falter with a not-quite-100%-Harvin in the lineup last week.
With the weather conditions as they are – cold and windy – Harvin’s value to the Vikings offense will only increase tonight. He’s dangerous with the ball in open space, and if the weather prevents the Vikings from executing a deep passing game, watch for Favre to find Harvin on short and intermediate routes to move the chains and light up the scoreboard.
A few notes on Harvin…
– He needs 201 combined yards to surpass RB Adrian Peterson’s record-setting 2,021 combined yards in 2007.
– With 3 receptions, Harvin can move into 2nd place in team history for the most receptions as a rookie. Harvin, who currently has 49 receptions, trails Paul Flatley and Sammy White, who both rank 2nd in Vikings annals with 51 receptions during their rookie seasons.
Tags: Percy Harvin
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